December 7 2018

Online shopping tips for everyone

We all love a good online shopping session, some more than others, but nonetheless, it’s become a common part of today’s society.

Here are some of my top tips and tricks for getting the best online shopping experience.

Low To High

I think a lot of people follow this one already, but I thought I’d include it anyway. When looking at the items on offer, sort them from lowest price to highest price. This allows you to find better deals and sales on items quicker and easier than if you were scrolling through the sites featured order.

Look In Store First

Now, I know you’re probably thinking “if I can buy the item in store, why would I buy it online?” I get it. But, sometimes it can be cheaper to purchase something online. You may have access to a really great discount code, or they may be a sale that is only offered online.

If you’re buying from a site that has a physical store, go in store first to see the item in person and if it’s a clothing item, try it on to make sure you 100% love it. If you still want the item after seeing it in person, then go ahead and purchase it online!

Discount Codes

Every time I go online shopping before I check out, I’ll do a quick google search for “discount codes for (insert store name here)”. I will admit, often a lot of the codes are expired or faulty; however, if you keep looking you can strike gold and find a code that works and get a decent discount on your order or even score free shipping – win!

Subscribe To Mailing List

You know those often irritating pop-up adds you get on a site asking you to join their mailing list? Instead of immediately clicking on the x to continue browsing, actually type in your email and often you’ll be given a discount code for your first order! Also, mailing lists are great for finding out when there are great sales on that you would otherwise not be aware of.

I’m aware these emails can often be quite annoying and clog up your inbox, if this does bother you, maybe just sign up for the stores you absolutely love and shop at often.

Patience

They say patience is a virtue, and online shopping is no exception. If you find something online that you LOVE but it is full price and you can’t find a discount code for that store, try holding out for a few weeks and keep checking back to see if the price is lowered, or if they have any promotions such as free shipping, etc.

Honestly, I cannot count the amount of times I have bought something full price, only to discover it’s been discounted a week later – in store and online. So annoying!

Read Reviews

I find reading reviews really helpful, in any situation, but especially when purchasing online. Because the items you’re looking to buy aren’t tangible, it’s good to look to others who have bought them previously. Take a look at the reviews of both:

1. The product in mind, and

2. If possible the website you’re looking to buy from in general.

If you can find realistic photographs of the items that is even better because we all know that often in real life the item does not match what it looks like online, so it’s best to be prepared and know what you’re in for.

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December 6 2018

E-readers!! A Bookworm’s Best Friend

Don’t get me wrong, I adore e-books. I love that you can taken literally hundreds of books with you on your travels. Gone are the days when you have to decide on one good holiday read. Now you can take everything and choose whatever picks your fancy that day. Not only that, I find it a lot easier to read on an e-reader on public transport, be that a plane, train or bus, than a physical book. You don’t need much space to hold an e-reader, but I need to be super comfy to read a book, and that does involve space. Stepping away from portability, I love that e-books have made reading a lot more accessible. Anyone can write an e-book. There’s courses and tutorials a plenty showing you how to get started. It’s helped open to door to publication and give budding writers experience that they otherwise might never have gained. E-books are generally cheaper, than physical books (if not free), making it more economic, once you have the actual an e-reader . It’s also easier to click download than it is for some people to get to a book shop. If I had to physically go to a book shop, I probably wouldn’t have as many books as I do now. It’s also that instant gratification you get when you can download a book, and in less than a minute start reading it. It’s just quick, simple and easy.

I still haven’t stopped buying physical books. If a book is by one of my favorite authors or I’m pre-ordering it, I’ll usually opt for the physical rather than the digital. But why? No matter how many pro’s an e-reader might have, it still can’t replicate physically holding a book. As I said previously, whilst I downloaded my textbooks, I also bought the physical copies for home too. No fancy features beat being able to physically highlight, underline and write notes on the pages. Sometimes you need to step away from technology. I spend all day at work on a computer, I spend quite a lot of time at home on a computer, even my phone is basically a computer. Reading on an e-reader is essentially reading from a computer. I like reading because it gives me time to relax and switch off. Whilst it’s great to be able to relax anywhere with an e-reader , the physical book allows you to take a step back and escape from all things electronic without getting distracted.

E-  books have made reading more efficient than ever before, but maybe that’s not good thing. Many people enjoy reading because they can do it in their own time, without feeling the need to rush. Being able to access so many books so quickly can make you feel like you should be speed reading rather than relaxing. Personally, I think there’s a time and place for both formats and don’t think we’ll see the end of hardbacks just yet.

What’s your opinion on paperback vs e-reader ? Love or loathe e-books?

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December 5 2018

Why Go Indie by Devika Fernando

Why Go Indie?: 6 Reasons for Self-Publishing (TBC Writer’s Toolkit Book 1) 
by Devika Fernando 
 
Have you ever thought of going indie? Are you a traditionally published author interested in switching to self-publishing? Or an aspiring author looking at various publishing options? 
 
This concise booklet will show you reasons to go indie and give you an overview of the advantages of self-publishing books. It also shines a light on the 6 F’s of self-publishing. 
 
This eBook is part of the TBC Writer’s Toolkit series in which experienced authors offer advice. Check out the other volumes for a step-by-step guide on how to become a successful indie author.
 
Grab your copy from 
About the Author
 
Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Her trademark are sweet, yet deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a self-employed German web content writer, as a translator, and as a faithful servant to all the cats, dogs, fish and birds in her home. What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing.

Website: http://www.devikafernando.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/devikafernan…
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Author_Devika

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December 4 2018

GET TO KNOW – Anupriya Gupta

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO START BLOGGING?

Umm… to be honest there were a couple of factors.

I have this innate keeda to explore and keep trying different things. I switched over from my IT job to a Human Resources profile. While working, I started mentoring MBA aspirants for grooming themselves for Group Discussions and Interviews. I have also worked as an admissions consultant with some 100 odd profiles to mentor them with resumes and SOPs for applying for admission to universities world over.

Then, while in my last job, I wrote fan-fictions and shared them on a forum. It was a couple of months before my manager found out about that. Now my boss also happens to be a blogger in the Food & Photography domain, so he was riding high on the idea of blogging. When I conceived my second child late in 2015, he suggested that given I already have a way with words, why don’t I start documenting my thoughts through a blog.

Before that, I had tried to work out a blog that would be about my professional domain, but for reason it did not shape up. So this time encourage by my friend philosopher guide boss, I thought, this writing bug keeps coming back to me – let me take the plunge. Also I realised that after I have my second baby, I would be leaving my job. So why not do something different. And thus came into existence MommyTincture.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN BLOGGING FOR?

I wrote my first post somewhere around February, 2016.  Back then I was mostly stuck up for content. I am not someone, who goes by a script. I have to feel for something very strongly, before I can pen down anything. So I struggled much with content for over a year. My post frequency fluctuated from once a week to once a month or even more. I have only become regular with my posts since September, 2017. That’s when I participated in the MyFriendAlexa campaign with Blogchatter. I finally had some audience to which I could reach out. It motivated me and helped me get more serious about my content.

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT BLOGGING?

No entry barriers. Blogging is for everyone, who is computer and internet literate. It’s amazing that passion for words and ideas is the only key pre-requisite to get set going. And once you get a hang of it, you can then get into the nuances of beautifying your blog, reaching out to more audience through social media channels, seeking collaborations etc.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES BESIDE BLOGGING?

With two extremely dependent for pretty much everything boys ( 5.5 & 2.5 years) in the tow, a blog to maintain and a large Marwari family (immediate and extended) to cater to, I hardly have any time for a hobby. Yet, I manage to read a lot in whatever free time I get. I even got my sister to gift me a kindle, so that I could read on the go, without the fear of my boys’ tearing away my paperbacks. I am a sucker for romance and have read around 30 romance chic-lits during 2018 itself (cringes at my own achievement …) Jokes apart, I happen to have gotten married to a mother-in-law who is an out and out DIY person. So we also spend considerable amount of time, making rakhis, costumes for our idols in the home temple, trying out new dishes in the kitchen etc. Life remains exciting that ways. We always have something to look forward to.

WHAT TIPS WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW BLOGGERS?

I have repeatedly said that blogging in this decade has picked up a huge commercial momentum, which is a good thing as it brings numerous avenues for able people to generate income. But I see there is a lot more urgency to gain better ranks, improved PAs & DAs and other statistics. It is all good, in-fact excellent to aspire for these things, but in the entire scheme of things, let’s not forget the essence of blogging i.e. a channel to express ones voice. Follow certain basic rules of technology and social media engagement and keep generating good content. All the statistics, paid assignments etc. will follow. Also do not undermine the significance of a community. A community like in every other sphere of life, helps you root yourself to what you have set out to achieve through your blog. For example – I have always dreamt of writing a fiction novel. But I didn’t know if I was up to the task. I wrote one manuscript and sat on it, while I participated in the AtoZ Challenge with Blogchatter with another set of short stories. This was later published as an ebook with the Blogchatter eBook Carnival and received appreciative reviews. It boosted my confidence and thus I pulled out my earlier manuscript to go the publishing way. I am now very soon coming out with the paperback version of this fiction romance drama. So yes, the blogging community helped me gauge my abilities and take according course of action. And of course you gain friends such as Romila of Novemberschild in the online world. Though I made a late start, but today I am really glad that I am a part of this large hearted Blogging community. I only hope that I gain a heart as large 😉

WHERE CAN WE FIND YOU?

Blog – http://www.mommytincture.com/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Anupriya_Guptaa

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/anupriya.gupta83/

Pinterest – https://in.pinterest.com/mommytincture

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mommytincture/

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December 3 2018

Of Art, Architecture and Erotica

India is dotted with glorious paintings and temples but erotica on the walls of arouses curiosity and even puzzles us today. There are various theories about the reason for such vivid depiction of erotica- mass sex education, warding off natural calamities and the devdasi system. With presence of 64 Yogini temples in India, scholars attribute the erotic art to Tantric practices, which revolve around the ultimate union of the male and the female energy. Whatever the reasons are the brazenness or ethereal beauty of erotica in Indian art and architecture will never cease to amaze us.

All important religious sects of the country have presented erotic motifs in their art. The erotic’s sculptures in India are to be found fairly widely distributed but confined to a limited period. We find them on the temples, at Khajuraho, Konark, Puri, Mehsana, Modhera, Koilkuntole, Kurnool, Badami, Shimoga and Halebid. Erotica was not only uninhibited but was cultivated as an art, the knowledge which brought prestige among the cultured citizens and aristocrats. Vatsyayana advocates the study of his Kamasutra to princesses, daughters of ministers, courtesans and to married women with the permission of their husbands.

By 10th century, the depiction of sex in art entered a qualitatively new phase. Erotic motifs were no longer confined to less prominent spaces in temples. All forms of sexual depiction, ranging from the sexual and erotic attitudes of men and women, including gods and goddesses, members of the aristocracy, and ascetics to group sexuality and bestiality were displayed ostentatiously on the exteriors and in the interiors of the temples. Temples became larger and grander with ample space for artistic expression.

Paintings and carvings challenged western ideas of the relationship between spirituality and sexuality.  There are many reasons why temples depict erotic art. Most locals however say that the underlying thought is to leave your lust behind before entering the temple, which is probably why these sculptures do not show the Gods and goddesses in intimate moments. On the other hand these sculptures are odes to perfect forms of passion.

Ajanta and Ellora Caves are a wonder in itself; they are the advanced style of Indian rock-cut cave architecture. These elements of sensuality and love indicate the rational thoughts of ancient India. They were not ashamed of portraying the natural process; instead, they gave a new meaning through art. It is definitely mind-blowing to witness such elaborate and grand art at these temples.

Moralities on Indian art began after the Islamic Invasions where the Purdah system was introduced. For the colonial British, Indian art’s obsession with the sensual body always provided a block to the appreciation of Indian art. Indian sculpture was deemed dishonest and contact with it was believed to infect the moral feeling.

But to pre-colonial Indians there was no union of women with temptation but instead with fertility, abundance and prosperity, and there is an open embrace of sexuality as one route to the divine.

For this reason throughout history, the arts of India- visual and literary have over and over again celebrated the beauty of the human body that which is not tainted accessory to be whipped into compliance, but potentially the vehicle of spirituality. The gods were always depicted as superhumanly beautiful, for if the image was not beautiful then the deities could not be convinced to reside in the statue.

The fascination with the beauty of the human body survived waves of invasions, till Islam arrived. In 18th Century, there were clear images of the Emperor Muhammad Shah Rangila, making love with his mistress, it was not the Islamic period that brought the striking break with India’s sensual traditions, instead, that break happened during the colonial period, with the arrival of Christian missionaries in the 19th Century.  A movement grew influencing Hindu women to cover themselves up and chastity and modesty were important as the perfect attributes of Hindu womanhood.

Today, there is much embarrassment about the role of erotica in our Indian history. We assume Buddhist monks would disapprove of and avoid sensual images, but the obvious sensuality of the art of Buddhism in Ajanta and other sites across India, is overwhelming. If history and art history have any value beyond entertainment and offering us lessons and examples from the past, it is perhaps, like travel, to free us from the tyranny of our own cultural values and make us aware of how contingent and bound by time, culture and geography so many of our preconceptions actually are.

Sexual depiction in religious art and architecture first served a magico-religious function. The profuse depiction of sex in temple art from A.D. 900 onwards suggests the permeation of Tantric elements into Puranic Hinduism and its influence on all major religions. No one has summed up the beauty of erotica in art and architecture better than Tagore ‘The language of man here is defeated by the language of stone.’

About the Writer:  Passionately sharing everything about Arts & Architecture with facts that thrill human imagination. Trying to make people not forget our heritage, culture and stay proud to be an Indian through love cast in stone, painted on walls and inscribed in texts. The writer- IndianArt can be contacted on Twitter

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December 3 2018

Because I Promised…to lock my heart away by Anupriya

 

Book Blurb:

At their college farewell party, Varnika publicly rejects Sushant’s candid proposal in the most disrespectful way imaginable, leaving everyone including her cool gang of cousins bemused. Varnika has her reasons for doing this to her best friend.

What are her reasons for making this upsetting choice? Did her mother’s move to Mumbai in Varnika’s formative years have a bearing on her? Or is it something more? What is she planning to do at the NGO for eunuchs? Will she succeed in her chosen career? Will she overcome her inhibitions before it is too late?

 This is Varnika’s journey, as she overcomes her personal reservations and faces professional challenges, all the while contemplating her decision to lock her heart away.

Links to buy

http://akvire.com/ProductView.aspx?ProductCode=9788193660256&SubcategoryId=1&title=Because%20I%20Promised%20%E2%80%A6to%20lock%20my%20heart%20away

https://www.amazon.in/Because-I-Promised-Anupriya/dp/8193660250/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1542003782&sr=8-1&keywords=because+I+Promised

About the Author: 

Anupriya belongs to that generation of Idiots (the proud ones though), who did their engineering first and then decided on what they actually wanted to do. She completed her MBA in Human Resources and worked in the corporate world for 8 years, before taking a professional break.  A mom by day and a reader/writer by night, Anupriya is a die-hard romantic. She can be found in the dot com world at her blog www.mommytincture.com , which contains her ranting about her experiences in her various roles as a mother, daughter, wife and foremost a human being, all churned together.  It is also her outlet to the world where she doles out loads of gyaan on self improvement and relationship management.

Her debut paperback novel –  Because I Promised…to lock my heart away  released  in November, 2018.

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