5 must have indoor plants

Well it is said that you can name yourself an adult when you have a bar cart, book shelf and nowadays people include an indoor plant. But I’d say to have a green thumb you needn’t be an adult. The age as a number isn’t a deciding factor here.


Where to start is the first step and probably most people get stuck here. This is where brands pitched in with starter kits or list of plants that you could choose to start having at home. Before that we must decide what part of the house would look much better with all the greenery.


The next thing that needs to be considered is the climate. And the windows in our house that would let in light. So the amount of light that would be coming in and the climate we’re located in play a major role in deciding what we get home.


Interacting with indoor plants in a way helps in reducing psychological and physiological stress. They help bring in a positive impact on mental health. Calming anxiety , helping in realigning your focus and making you more productive are much more benefits of having indoor plants.

And if you are in an apartment this is a great way to bring the outdoors home.

So here are reasons for you to join the bandwagon of having indoor plants at home.

Help in purifying air– House plants helps in purifying harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia and pollen. They could cause headache, allergies, fatigue and sickness. These plants help improve air quality and make the air cleaner for better health.

Stress reduction– Besides the making the air cleaner the psychological benefit of helping in reducing stress is another important advantage of having indoor plants. The plants help in reducing stress, lowering blood pressure and also helping in spreading positive vibes.
Great for styling vignettes- They’re a great fit for the shelves. They help in adding break ups along the hard lines of continuous range of books and stuff.


Help in sharpening your attention– When you work alongside with live plants on your desk, you could notice a difference in your level of attention. On contrast plastic plants do not provide you the same benefits.


Increase recovery rate- The recovery rate from an illness, surgery or an injury is faster when you look at plants or flowers since it is therapeutic when you take a glance.
Help in adding colour- Plants help in adding colour. They help in adding much more texture and colour.

5 plants with easy maintenance

Money plant or devil’s ivy – The plant can withstand extreme climate conditions and requires minimal maintenance. It is one of the most common plants which can grow on fences and in pots. It helps absorb volatile organic compounds and helps keeping air cleaner. If you are a believer of vaastu, the plant is said to bring in material abundance.


Snake plant -It has sturdy and pointy leaves which are long and helps in keeping air pure by absorbing almost 100 different air toxins like oxide, chloroform and alcohols. The plant releases oxygen during the night hour in comparison with other succulents thereby making it a perfect plant for the bedrooms.


Aloe vera– Another common plant in most households known for its numerous benefits in terms of health and skincare. It exudes positivism and hence is great for the living and bedrooms. An ingredient that finds its place in many home remedies, cause of its goodness to skin and hair.


Bamboo palm– The plant has an affinity to benzene, carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. It grows quick and helps in eliminating toxins. Also known as butterfly or areca palm and also grows in dry weather conditions. It helps in purifying the air making it a great indoor plant.


Peace lily– Very commonly found across the subcontinent. It is not only visually eye-catching but also great in absorbing toxins emanating from the electronics indoor. It is known for its adaptability to extreme and sudden weather changes. Its also intelligent to let you know to water it when the leaves droop. Great when it is placed in areas prone to dampness say your bathroom.

The list curated above is specific to Indian maintenance and keeping in mind the sub continents climatic conditions.

So plants can only thrive with people who have green thumb is logical to olden days. Some of these plants require low or even zero maintenance. Though some may not help you with keeping the air clean, but are a great addition to decor and no compromise on the psychological benefits.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

How to teach money to kids

Talking finances and money to kids isn’t complicated and something shouldn’t be ignored anymore. Gone are the days when it is fine we reply saying money “money doesn’t grow on trees”. This is the piece of financial advice we were handed those days and it ended there.



If we want our kids to manage their money without issues in future then teaching them about financial responsibility at an early age is the solution. A habit that can take more time to build is saving. We can clearly say that quite a few adults are yet to master it.



As parents we want our kids to have the best. Not only the best in toys, dress, education but most importantly we want them to be safe and secure. A key lesson that needs to be taught which will guarantee they will do well is the lesson about money. This lays the foundation which will make them do well in life.



Many of us now wish that we could have been taught more about managing money. Missing the opportunities and being reluctant to talk about finances are reasons many parents give on why they couldn’t discuss with kids.
Children are very eager to learn about the wisdom of finance we have. So giving them the gift of financial literacy would be the best foundation we can do for them.

Here are ways you could start teaching money



Start early

Math forms most part of money knowledge. So the learning about money could start as early as when they start learning math. What is money?Where and how it is used are the first and foremost concepts.
Also they need to know where it comes from. They need to clearly understand that it simply doesn’t come out of the wallet. Make them understand that we get paid when we work. SO no work results in no pay. This would make them understand that to earn they must work.



Give allowances

Assign a chore or ask them to run an errand and reward them. As they age you can increase the amount. Teach concepts like save, invest and spend. In this way they will know to allocate what they receive. Creating opportunities for them to earn is a great way to learn about money and to understand that their work is rewarded.



Teaching them to save

It is important to let them know that money is not only for spending but also to save for future. Saving will help in teaching discipline, gratification, setting goals , planning, being prepared and most importantly feeling secure and independent.
Giving them chances to set short term goals like to buy their favourite stationary or favorite toy will make them more enthusiastic to save. TO begin with they could start with saving in a piggy bank and then proceed to opening a savings account once they are old enough.



Make them understand and make decisions

Tracking where money comes from and how is it going to be spent teaches children to make smart decisions. Make them understand that they can pay people to get things done for them when they grow up or also spend in getting things for themselves. The key here is for them to understand that it is going to cost them either way.



Involve them in financial decisions and ask opinions

When I say ask opinions it doesn’t mean you have to go by it. It will help in boosting their morale that they are becoming mature and capable of becoming a good adult. They will also get to know how you handle the situations and learn to model you. Start this in their teens, the goal here is to talk about money freely and not getting stressed up.

See where they go wrong and grasp the situation to teach

There might be situations where the kid spends the entire money , or cable bill rockets and so does electricity. DO not cave in. Instead use this opportunity to make them understand that if money is gone it is gone . Let them know that extra TV hours count, leaving the light on counts. This will make them realize and start acting responsible.



Work on your relationship

Kids learn by mimicking our behavior. So if they notice that we are stressed, spending beyond boundaries and keeping the finance scare they are most likely going to become like you. They cannot think it is normal if you spend money beyond limits so act responsibly and be a good role model.
This also sends out a strong message that you practice what you preach. Talking to them about saving and investing and on the contrary ending up be scarce doesn’t picture a good role model.



Teaching differences

Make sure kids understand differences between needs and wants. Let them be responsible for the decision they make to spend money on a trip to circus or a video game. So later they cannot blame you. Let them enable themselves by making a priority on what do they want first. Making them understand what is their dire need and what is a want helps them make better decisions.


Gratification

Kids need to understand that they don’t always come with a bag of goodies after leaving a store. Visiting every time doesn’t mean we spend and buy stuff. The goodie will make its way during an occasion and not during every store visit. Making them save money for their most wanted goodie is another way they learn to save. And once after they purchase you could see how thoughtfully they make use since it came out of their own money.



So it isn’t late if you haven’t started. There is no right time and no time when it denotes your lagging behind. If you are reading this and plan to start, I wish you the best.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE –
@Sindhu Vinod Narayan. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sindhu Vinod Narayan (Thatmadrasmom) with the right and specific direction to the original content.

This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’ 

Lockdown: what it had in store for women?

2020 and women

Every woman out there needs support and a bit of encouragement to sail through. Although we do say that we do not need the constant push cause it’s usually in our genes that I’d say that we make sure that everyone else gets what they want and finally settle down to get something for us. We don’t complain or brood about it. Self contented is what id chose to explain that emotion.

When was the last time you sat down to have a hearty laugh and eat along with your family? If the answer is we do this all the time I’m certainly happy for you. But there are a lot of families where this wouldn’t have happened at all. It’s time for them to sit down think and make sure you give that woman some rest and joy of having a meal with you without a worry in her mind.

The lockdown not only brought every thing to a standstill but also made a drastic lifestyle change which brought in a lot of health complications. When it comes to a woman,the first thing that strikes you would be her reproductive health. Yes that’s a major lifestyle induced medical conditions that saw a lot of incoming cases and hospital visits.

Women and periods

Did you know that the lockdown stress had about 25% of women experience irregular periods? Blame it on the lifestyle change that involved a change in food sleep and physical activity totally resulting in this. Stress induced by this and to top it all taking care of the house and children played its part in fiddling with the delicate monthly cycle. A no-show at the end of the month brought in a lot of worries.

While the no-show brought in a lot of smiles for many yes I did come across a lot of lockdown pregnancy announcement for whom I’m happy for. For the rest it really did play with their reproductive health and the stress hormone cortisol levels causing a major disruption in their mental health. A lot of women with controlled PCOD jumped over the wall due to the improper sleep cycle and untimely food habits. Women experienced varying symptoms but all pointing to stress induced illnesses. So next time there is a no-show don’t ignore. This is not something to worry only when you plan on having a baby.

The lockdown also lowered socialising to a great extent. People feared to venture out even for genuine causes. Being a new mother myself, I had a lot of things running in my mind to handle delivering a baby during the lockdown. Thank God that the hospital was well prepared to handle the crisis and everything went on smooth and we came back to our nest safely.

Life with a newborn

But what was running in mind was a lot of doubts . Being a second time mother I was confident that I could handle this and I had things under control, but there was also the slightest doubts on one corner bothering me. What do I do ? That’s when hospitals had equipped themselves for video consultations. What a boon technology is? Not to forget that we also saw rising number of WhatsApp groups for new mothers which had doctors guiding them then and there. I was glad I had professional help handy and made life much easier for me. So thankful for the women who initiated the groups to help out other women.

Career options poured in from all directions. People who lost their livelihood and companies who couldn’t continue paying employees left a hole in many families. Thankful to opportunities that were freelance and those which offered upskilling people equipped themselves well to be prepared to take up good opportunities.

Career options for women

I’d seen that schools and educational institution were willing to take in women to help cope the demand for online classes. A lot of women with basic qualifications were employed.

Education portals opened access allowing the population to stay up to date, make the time useful and learn or upskill themselves.

Womenpreneurs bloomed, small scale, large scale , women who dreamt of coming up with their own venture came out of the shell proved success . I did see a lot of women supporting them through Instagram lives handling pop up sales and expanding market.

Womenpreneurs

On my part I did Collaborate with a lot of small scale , local ,men/woman owned brands and helped with promotions. Happy that I could bring a smile and some orders for them.

These are my observations of what the lockdown had in store for us women especially and turning them to fruitful opportunities. The lockdown did bring in a lot of mental challenges but we sure did strive through successfully.

This post is part of #wswbloghop . I am a part of the #WSWBlogHop and I truly believe that we should support, empower each other and grow together.

Review of oils and herbal powder – Shesha beauty

Ayurveda and usage of herbs in skincare and haircare has been done generations past. Usage of herbs, concoctions to make oils and powders for cleansing and wellness has been there for ages.

I recently came across shesha beauty which has a wide range products for hair and skin which help you combat all skin and hair problems.

Their products are made of goodness of natural Ayurveda and from our very dear god’s own country , Kerala. It’s the brainchild of an ex-amazon engineer, Renji , who hails from a family of naturopaths and Ayurvedic Doctors. She missed the goodness of authentic Ayurvedic products from her very own land which gave birth to shesha’s evolution.

Their oils are cold pressed and all natural. The powders for face and hair are all from natural ingredients like tulsi, orange peel, rose petals and so on.

The products are 100% natural and cruelty free. They are free from paraben and sulphates which makes them skin and hair friendly.

Having a no stretch mark belly and a clear and healthy skin is all what women dream about. This combination of oils and powder from shesha will surely make your dream come true. I’d definitely say these are my postpartum saviours and a regular in my skincare regimen.

I tried a couple of their oils and powders for a really long period before I came up with my review.

Nalpamaradi tailam . Known as natural illuminator, this oil is used to illuminate skin and to remove tan. Helps clear scars, acne marks and uneven skin tone that causes pigmentation. Usage is really simple. Take the required amount and massage on to skin until it gets absorbed and leave on for half an hour. You can then wash off with mild soap. The oil is beneficial is removing scars, pigmentation and is all natural.

I started using this when I was pregnant and pigmentation was a problem that led to stress. The oil has been working well to remove blemishes.

Price : Rs .250 for 50ml

Dhanwantram tailam. Pre and post natal massage oil. A traditional oil that helps in alleviating pain, rejuvenates muscles and increase immunity this oil is apt for pre and post natal massages. These are period which require massaging of skin to improve elasticity and strengthening of muscles. Regular usage also reduces stretch marks effectively during and post pregnancy. Made from authentic Ayurvedic formulation this oil is made from all natural ingredients and is not so sticky when applied. The oil can be massaged until absorbed by skin and left for half an hour. This can be washed off with mild soap in a warm bath.

I’ve been using this regularly post delivery and trust me it’s been the best savior of postpartum recovery.

Price : Rs. 250 for 50 ml

Tejaswini face wash powder. Green gram Bengal gram are skincare secret ingredients passed on from generations. This face wash powder is soap free , and helps absorb oil and makes its oil free. Can be used as daily scrub for face and suited for all skin types. Helps prevent acne and blemishes updated n regular usage. What else does a girl need when there is an all natural face wash. Usage is making the powder into a paste with water or rose water applying on face , scrub for 15-20 seconds and wash off for all day glow.

I’ve been using this for about two months and feels so good to be back with grandma’s Skincare secret.

Ingredients : almond, green gram, bengal gram, orange peel powder, rose petal, aloe Vera, avarampoo, hibiscus.

Price : Rs. 399 for 50gm

Kasturi manjal powder . Known as wild turmeric this is a staple in all Indian households. A must have ingredient for natural Skincare, this powder helps protect skin from harmful radiation. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties which help fight acne causing bacteria. A lovely uplifting aroma arises when using this powder. Helps in removing blemishes and acne marks this powder also helps in increasing skin luminosity. When mixed with Coconut oil can be used for spot reduction of scars. When mixed with water can be applied on to face, massaging in circular motion and washed off with warm water.

Kasturi manjal is a staple in our routine from being a baby. It is incorporated into bath powders to reduce hair growth and keep skin healthy.

Ingredients : Wild turmeric, lemon, orange and tulasi leaves.

Price : Rs 399 for 50gms.

Extra virgin coconut oil . Made from 100% natural coconut milk, the oil is apt for haircare in treating dry and sensitive scalp. Helps boost volume and improve hair growth.

An excellent massage oil for babies with all natural nutrients. A natural makeup remover this can be used in daily Skincare routine. I’ve been using it for me and as well as my baby for regular oil massage.

Price : Rs 299 for 200 ml.

A 100% all natural and trusted brand where you can buy Ayurvedic products for skin, hair and body wellness from our god’s own country. You can shop them at https://www.sheshabeauty.com

Check out what seems has to say about jaggery and what Amritha has to about gardening.

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Prisha Lalwani
Mummasaurus.com
IG: @mummasauruss
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The invisible load of Breastfeeding mom

Breastfeeding mom

When a baby is born, the mother is also born. The anxiety, stress, tiredness from delivery still takes days for her to settle down. But is she prepared for the invisible load.

No matter how much a mom is prepared for her journey post delivery, she still undergoes a lot of things unsaid and her mind is always preoccupied.

Being a new mom myself let me list them out.

Being the only one who can feed

Yes, if you are an exclusive breast feeding mom, you’re the child’s only source of food. Your duty cannot be passed on or taken over by someone else.

But if you would want your milk to be fed to your baby , you could pump, you at least have that exclusion. No, that needn’t make you feel guilty.

Staying hydrated

Yes, staying hydrated is part of your new mom schedule. You need to keep yourself hydrated in order to make milk that would suffice your baby’s hunger. Yes load yourself with water, flavoured , unflavoured, juice, buttermilk, milkshakes but limited caffeine. Definitely no alcohol.

Leaking milk and blocked duct

This definitely needs to be said. Milk leaking on your favourite shirt ,dress. You ain’t going without your breast pads on. The blocked duct and don’t forget to mention the pain that it offers you. Oh my god, nobody told me that if you make excess you’re going to suffer. So make sure your baby empties your breast it you at least pump the milk out to save yourself from pain that the engorgement gives you.

Feeling tired of being touched

With constant feeding, hugging and cuddling though it does have a lot of positive effects like the absolute delightful bond between mom and child, increased milk production, at times you just feel tired and don’t want to be touched. Especially if you’re co-sleeping or during the growth spurts when you cluster feed at times you get too tired and drained out especially the breasts.

Worry they’re getting enough

That mom guilt you get whether you’re making enough for your child. The constant thoughts that your mind keeps getting whether the child is full. You touch their stomach, see if they burped and are sleeping well. It’s an age old quotient they say, well fed baby sleeps well. Those were people who didn’t know about growth spurts, regression, colic and so on.

You’re Cinderella clock is only 2-3 hours

Yes, your baby needs you so you definitely aren’t getting away anywhere for more than a maximum of three hours. They want you to cuddle them , hold them and feel you so you better get back earlier.

Pumping and labelling

Did I tell you the hack that even if you’re the only source of nutrition you could excuse yourselves by pumping. I forgot to mention that pumping has its own accompaniments too. Yes labelling the pumped milk and storing them. The different temperatures to store and the time period they can be stored to be used. So now your refrigerator has extra compartmental spaces for your milk so keep out those squashes, cakes , juices and pizza out.

Adjusting caffeine alcohol and diet

I did mention while talking about being hydrated that caffeine has to be taken in moderation. If you’re someone who could survive without caffeine I’d clap my hands or if you’re someone like me who needs a dose of it everyday, make sure you get it before evening. A strict no to alcohol, but if you’re too addicted make sure you don’t feed the baby at least for 6-8 hours.

Diet is yet another aspect where you got to make adjustments and compromises. Yes , the postpartum diet is healthy and makes you put on a lot of weight. They say feed the mother well so the baby gets enough so in the process you tend to put on those extra kilos. Learning to say no or not to get tempted seeing your favourite foods which aren’t part of postpartum diet. Though they say the food taken by the mother doesn’t affect the baby, it all depends on the baby in the end.

Being the one waken up for night feeds

The night feeds especially the ones immediately post delivery the next one to four weeks are tiring and makes you lose sleep. Again you’re the only source you will have to wake up when your baby needs milk. But if you’re someone who doesn’t want to look at your husband whose happily sleeping like a baby, I’d say you pump and make him feed or make him get you some midnight snacks you could munch on.

Limited dress options

Did I tell you that you have limited dressing options too. Don’t let your eyeballs bulge out. The need to nurse makes you have only very little options for wardrobe and don’t forget that the boobs need to be secured well inorder to not sag and most importantly not to reveal when they leak. Not to forget those elderly advices hide your breasts you’re a feeding mom, people might look at you.

When to wean advices

The most important or needed purchases post your delivery is good pair of airports or headphones. You might need them for a longer period until you decide to wean your child upon your own will. Untill then the advices keep pouring in stating reasons like milk isn’t enough or the baby is growing and needs solids. Happily plug in your ears and listen to some soothing music or watch your favourite series and don’t give a heed. You’re the mother and who exactly know when to start solids for your child. Until then keep calm and offer your breasts happily.

Responsibility of the weight

As long the baby is breastfed the weight factor depends completely on you. You take full responsibility if the baby is gaining or no. Here’s one other reason for moms to stress on. But let me say as long as your baby is happy and active don’t get the number get into your mind. Your baby needn’t be plump when compared to others nor is going for a weight lifting competition for you to worry about.

So let me tell you though these are invisible loads keep yourself calm and composed you can do it. Keep telling yourself that you’re a good mother and doing the best for your child. That’s the mantra to keep yourself going.

Also check out what Arti has to say and what Debidutta shares about sanitizers.

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Mummasaurus.com
IG: @mummasauruss
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Ten Breastfeeding Myths Busted

Soon after a woman delivers , advices start pouring in from all directions. Starting with healing from delivery, Breastfeeding, taking care of baby, postpartum care and what not. Most often they are centered around some age old myths that have been in place. Let’s take a look at the top ten myths relating to Breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding myths busted.

1 Do not nurse when you’re sick.

Our bodies produce antibodies when we’re sick. When we continue to breastfeed babies, the antibodies we produce to fight against sickness gets transmitted to the babies and helps in raising the immunity levels in them. During these times where covid19 is at its peak of spreading, breastfeeding is a great way to protect babies. WHO has also issued guidelines that a mother who is covid positive can continue breastfeeding her baby and this is in a way much better to protect the baby against infections.

2. Small breasts do not produce enough milk.


Size of breasts doesn’t decide the amount of milk. Every woman has the ability to produce breastmilk for her baby. So the size of the breasts be it big or small doesn’t decide the quantity that would be produced.

3 Prepare your breasts and nipples by toughening them for Breastfeeding.


Nipple stimulation can induce labour, just gently massage them and they would do their job. In olden days ghee was used to massage the breast and nipples. Though this is a tradition that is being followed even now , sometimes could lead to preterm labor.

4 . Clean your nipples before every feed.


This is much important for bottle feed. This was a precaution cause impure nipples can lead to bacterial formation and later lead to health hazards. But when it comes to Breastfeeding, you needn’t clean your nipples each time. Cause if you do, you are wiping away the lubrication that’s is being provided by the oils from the glands.

5. Eat bland food when you’re breastfeeding


Eat anything in moderation that won’t affect the baby. The food that you eat is fully digested and then utilised to produce breastmilk. Hence the food is broken down before breastmilk preparation. So you can eat anything, but in moderation.

6. Breastfed babies tend to be clingy and dependent


Studies have proved that breastfed babies have grown up to be more independent. Quite often when women say they are breastfeeding post age one, the immediate comments they get is you are making your baby much clingy. The kids will be dependent on you. Breastfed babies actually tend to be more independent and capable of being more stronger .

7. You can’t get pregnant when you’re breastfeeding.


We’ve been told ovulation doesn’t occur when you breastfeed, but you can’t trust that to be birth control method. It is true that Breastfeeding can help in relating period and so ovulation doesn’t occur. But it is not always a trusted method of birth control. So it is always advisable to consult your doctor for a suitable birth control method.

8. Do not nurse when you have blocked duct or infection.

Nursing often doesn’t lead to blocking. Nursing during duct actually clears it up. Blocked duct most often can be cleared if you feed after got or cold compress. But inorder to avoid duct formation its always adviced to feed frequently.

9. Drink milk to make your milk.



Even if you do not drink milk your supply won’t be affected. Drinking milk is not the only way to produce breastmilk. Intact no food is said to boost supply, each woman has the won ability to produce breastmilk for their baby. Whether or not they drink milk, their breasts would be producing breastmilk.

10. If your breasts don’t grow when you’re pregnant you cannot make enough milk.

Generally breasts go up by one or two cup sizes for most women when they’re pregnant. But that does not decide if you produce more or less breastmilk. Whether they grow or no your breasts will be making milk.

So ditch the myths and continue breastfeeding. That’s what our babies needs.

If we have myths busted for Breastfeeding why not parenting myths debunked. Read on to know more.

Publish a post or edit an existing post – add this text at end- “I am learning how to grow my blog with Neha from Bloggingmadeeasier.com. In case if you are interested – Learn how to grow your blog here . In this learn how to grow your blog will link to this post https://bloggingmadeeasier.com/grow-your-blog-challenge-fundamentals-of-a-profitable-blog/”

Book blitz – Jay jay the supersonic bus

Jay-Jay the bus is rescued from the dirty scrap yard, where he was sadly gathering dust and cobwebs. Feeling nervous yet excited, he is taken to an airport where he is magically transformed into a ‘Playbus’ full of toys, games and adventure.
A fictional tale based on a real-life bus ‘Supersonic’, which flew in the imaginations of the many young children who visited it.

MY REVIEW:

The book is a short read and I must say kids would really enjoy reading the little adventure that is about to unwrap.

The book is about a bus from the scrapyard being transformed into a playbus. The books brings out the emotions that the bus has initially when it thinks what would happen to.

The way the bus is being modified to keep little Children engaged will surely have the kids reading the book also want to experience the same.

The illustrations are bright and colourful which support the story to a great extent. I love the narration and I am sure that kids will find it easier to read on their own. I am just waiting for my daughter to grow up and read this wonderful book.

Purchase Links –
Web site: http://www.suewickstead.co.uk

http://bit.ly/JJKSupersonic – Amazon .co.uk
http://amzn.to/2BxvU2l – Amazon .com
Waterstones http://bit.ly/2F9DSQ5
WH Smiths http://bit.ly/2TtCr2I
Book depository http://bit.ly/2Ax6VcZ
Foyles http://bit.ly/2Ffm71U
Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2GXLTdq
Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus will be 99p until 22nd April.
Special Blitz offer: A free 3D bus which can be claimed via web site ‘Enquiry button using ref code JJay (www.suewickstead.co.uk)
Additional bus models and books also offered as a promotion on request.

Author Bio in her own words
I am a teacher and an author and have currently written six children’s picture books with a bus theme.
For over 20 years, alongside my teaching career, I worked with a Children’s Charity, The Bewbush Playbus Association, which led me to write a photographic history book about it.
I soon found that many children had never been on a bus before, let alone a ‘Playbus’ and they wanted to know more. I decided to write a fictional tale about the bus, his number plate JJK261 gave him his name.
‘Jay-Jay the Supersonic Bus,’ came out in print in 2014. It is the story behind the original bus and is his journey from a scrap-yard to being changed into a playbus for children to play in. From Fact to fiction the bus journey continued.
This story has now been followed by five more picture books.
I also undertake events and author bookings and love to share the story. There are also a few more stories in the writing process, with links to real events and buses.

The story has been read in many schools in the south-East of England, where I teach as a cover teacher, it is always well received and certainly different.
Social Media Links –
https://www.suewickstead.co.uk/
Facebook: – Author Page http://bit.ly/2kEEhPq
http://bit.ly/2kXfjdj – Bewbush Playbus
http://bit.ly/2BZiews – Teacher in the cupboard
Twitter https://twitter.com/JayJayBus
Giveaway to Win Jay-Jay and the Island Adventure (UK Only)
*Terms and Conditions –UK entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.
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Review of lost and found in Banaras

BLURB:

Banaras celebrates death, but what does it do to the living dead? When three-year-old Brinda is widowed after being married for a few hours, her family refuses to take her back in. Deemed ‘munhoos’, she finds her way to Nirmala Ashram in Banaras where she leads a life of child widow under the watchful eye of Vasanti Bua and her friend, Debi. She and Debi are just another shade of white in the city’s numerous ‘white shadows’ until Sia and Uday return to Banaras. As visitors to the ancient city, they assumed that the unfinished stories of their past were long behind them. Little did they know that Banaras was waiting with its unspent debt and the dishonest voices would find their way back to them in Brinda and Debi. Will Banaras, standing at the crossroads between the ancient and the modern, help them expiate? Will they find what they once lost—love, longing or perhaps nirvana?

MY REVIEW:

A sober read that brings up the lives of innocent widows in Banaras is the story in this book. The book starts off with young Brinda and her brothers playing. Brinda is young, I mean very just that she is 3 years old. The house in the village is gearing up for a major celebration. No you’re wrong if you assume it would be the carnival or temple fest, it’s Brinda’s marriage. Yes, you heard me right, the three year old girl is being married off to an eleven year old boy, Biswaas.

The celebrations take place in a grand manner. Brinda is married to Biswaas who is from another village. So soon after the marriage and feast she is being sent off. Biswaas seemed disinterested right from when the marriage talks were on. Brinda cries her lungs out when she is being sent, but that is how it is in the villages. Upon her arrival she is welcomed by the siblings and her mother in law. Few moments later there is a strong downpour after which there are floods. The entire family except her father in law is lost and she keeps sobbing. When taken back to her village, things are not in their favor and she is marked as a sign of bad omen. Her brother Jhulan takes up an oath to come see her soon.So the father in law who is suffering a deadly ailment is forced to send her to Nirmala ashram run by Vasanti Bua , a home for the widows.

She being the youngest takes time to settle but is close with Debi upon whom there are numerous eye of the landlord for flesh trade. Vasanti Bua, safeguards her from the evil eyes and runs the ashram. Sia who returns to Banaras wants to bring this out to the world and give these young women a better place to live. Uday, a journalist photographer, stumbles upon SIa who then enlightens him the current situation. What happens next? Does Brinda meet her brother, what happened to Biswaas, Does Sia reunite with her love? Who takes over the ashram after Vasanti Bua is the rest of the story.

The author takes the plot in a slow pace and the sufferings of the widows and condition of the ashram is something we worry off. The vocabulary used is simple and easy to understand. It is a slow read and took me a couple of days to finish. I would not say this is a gripping read, but has a different style on its own.

The cover design could have been better. The characterization is done well with few characters playing their part. Nothing is over exaggerated. The narrations with respect to Sia’s life flashback could have been briefed instead of a longer write up.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:232 pages
  • Publisher:Readomania (17 August 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9385854666
  • ISBN-13:978-9385854668

MY RATINGS:

Title: 4/5

Writing and presentation: 3.5/5

Plot:4/5

Cover: 3.5/5

Overall: 3.75/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mona Verma is an alumni of prestigious Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi and an award winning author of 6 works of fiction, A Bridge to Nowhere, God is a River, the White Shadow, the Clown of Whitefields and other stories, the Other and Lost and Found in Banaras. She had edited various science journals, self -help books, biographies and is a regular feature writer for online newspapers. She is on board of various Universities as an advisory expert and is much sought as visiting faculty for Creative writing, Haiku and Limericks. She is now a member of FICCI and member of Writers’ meet called for by Governor of Uttarakhand, at Rajbhawan Dehradun. A Paul Harris fellow, she actively volunteers with Interplast, Germany and Rotary International foundation for the treatment of surgical accidents and burns victims. Recently, she has been honored with the executive membership in the Management Committee of Anushruti, a social initiative of IIT, Roorkee for the exemplary work done for the special children at Anushruti. She is also serving as a member of the Academic Review Committee with Anushruti, IIT Roorkee. Presently, she co-owns and runs her firm Disha, an education consultancy and thought leading initiative, which deals with corporate, organizational and faculty/student trainings in schools and Universities. Apart from the above, she has a keen interest in classical music, charcoal sketching, oil painting, photography and travel.

Review of Pyjamas are forgiving #instacuppa #superbloggerchallenge

BLURB:

There sitting on that porch, that light-eyed man, a pitta like me, was my ex-husband and that woman whose inner element I was unaware of, unless bitch is accepted as an undiscovered fourth dosha, was his young wife. In the serene sanctuary of Kerala’s Shanthamaaya spa where food is rationed, sex forbidden and emotions centred, Anshu meets someone familiar and deeply unsettling – her ex-husband. Bittersweet, funny and wise, Pyjamas Are Forgiving confirms Twinkle Khanna as one of our great storytellers.

MY REVIEW:

When Twinkle Khanna made announcements for releasing her third book, it piqued quite a lot of eagerness and interests in her fans and minds of other readers. Since the second book did not do seemingly well, the timing that the release came in, it set the minds of the readers who were expecting a comeback.

The plot begins with the protagonist, Anshu ; a 40 year old divorcee who seeks rejuvenation and is a regular at the Shanthamaaya sthalam, Kerala. No it is not a spa when I meant she sought rejuvenation, it is an Ayurveda Ashram by Dr. Menon where people come in seek of freedom from the doshas that plague them.

Anshu seeks peace from her fast paced life in Mumbai and comes to Kerala seeking peace and tranquility. She signs up for the 28-day rejuvenation program, which holds her a lot of surprises. Among those who signed up, Anshu’s ex-husband Jay and his new wife Shalini are also included. Anshu is in for a roller-coaster ride of innumerable emotions at having to come to terms with her ex’s presence in such close vicinity.

Shalini can be described as everything in opposite to what Anshu is. She is young, flexible, beautiful and thin. It no longer is surprising that Jay fell for her when Anshu was still starting to get used to marriage and its many bizarreness. Anshu’s heart still skips a beat seeing Jay; even though they have been separated for over a decade. After all its her first love so she cannot get over so soon.

All the characters we are introduced in the book are realistic and serve a purpose of their presence.

The writing style as always is filled with wit and humor and it cannot go wrong if I say it is generously present throughout the book. But even then it did not make a strong impact.

The book is a short read but loses the engaging or the intriguing factor somewhere in the middle as it becomes monotonous. At some instances Anshu’s encounters with Jay and the instances handled seemed to lack luster and was becoming repetitive.

The cover of the book is designed so well; in fact, it was one of the factors that pushed me to read the book. But we also know that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:256 pages
  • Publisher:Juggernaut (7 September 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9386228971
  • ISBN-13:978-9386228970

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Twinkle Khanna is one of India’s top-selling writers and the author of two national bestsellers, Mrs Funnybones (winner of a Crossword Book Award 2016) and The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad. She is one of Times of India’s most read columnists and has won numerous awards, including India Today Woman Writer of the Year, Outlook Award for Most Inspiring Woman of the Year and Vogue Opinion Maker of the Year. She is the founder of Mrs Funnybones Movies and in 2018 produced the highly acclaimed film Pad Man. Khanna lives in Mumbai with her family.

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Forgive and forget #writebravely#celebratewritetribe

To err is human, to forgive is divine.

We have all heard this phrase quite often making rounds. But what does it intend to convey really. We all know it is human nature to commit mistakes. I’m just talking about the minor one’s here. All human cannot be 100% right all the time. They might say I never make a mistake, I always think and act. But that cannot be possible all the time because we do know that one more saying ‘Great homer sometimes nods’ means an accomplished writer such as Homer could also make mistakes. There is nothing wrong when you realize and confess that you made a mistake.

Forgiveness is often compared to being divine. This is put forth in Tamil (my mother tongue) in another way which is more or less similar. Someone who makes mistakes is human and that someone who forgives the mistake done is above human. Such high is the quality of forgiveness given a place in the world we live in. Forgiveness shall not be given for namesake and later being subjected to repeated recap episodes of the error committed. When someone confesses their mistake that it is an unknown error, we could empathize their situation or understand what made them commit the mistake and forgive. But this is only for errors that could be forgiven and not any major blunder or something that is done of major negligence.

For instance, a doctor cannot perform an error while operating a patient. The full concentration should be only on the surgery, leave out whatever personal problem they might be going through, the doctors should be diligent in the duty conferred on them. They cannot seek forgiveness since the mistake is purely medical negligence. Since forgiveness is compared to divinity not all errors could be forgiven, there is clear cut boundary us humans should draw as to what could be forgiven and what cannot be.

Being selfish and keeping ego in mind we shouldn’t make decisions and let the person who seeks forgiveness suffer. After all we are humans, so the quality of love in soul would creep out from the hiding place that is deep down inside us. It was better said by Zora Neale Hurston,

“Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.”


I’m Writing Bravely for the Write Tribe Festival of Words – March 2019’