My necklaces!

I have been making costume jewellery as gifts for friends and family for nearly 6 years now. I was taught this craft by a very dear friend of mine. Someday when I have more patience and a less-inquisitive toddler I hope to post tutorials on how to make necklaces. For now I’m uploading some of my work! Hope you like them!

Costume jewellery - easy as a pie to make - but great on the flashy, glittery factor! (Red stone, white loreals and golden balls make up this necklace)

Costume jewellery – easy as a pie to make – but great on the flashy, glittery factor! (Red stone, white loreals and golden balls make up this necklace) – Rachel Chitra

Mango-design stones & a temple-jewellery pendant

Mango-design stones & a temple-jewellery pendant – Rachel Chitra

Garnet-look-alike pendant on white stones embellished with red loreals

Garnet-look-alike pendant on white stones embellished with red loreals – Rachel Chitra

Rhinestones in a simple tier-necklace

Rhinestones in a simple tier-necklace – Rachel Chitra

Red-stoned tier necklace with gold loreal - Rachel Chitra

Red-stoned tier necklace with gold loreal – Rachel Chitra

Traditional Karnataka style choker - Rachel Chitra

Traditional Karnataka style choker – Rachel Chitra

Green-moonstone pendant encircled with white stone n green loreals - Rachel Chitra

Green-moonstone pendant encircled with white stone n green loreals – Rachel Chitra

Red-stones n cascading white loreals - Rachel Chitra

Red-stones n cascading white loreals – Rachel Chitra

White n gold! - Rachel Chitra

White n gold! – Rachel Chitra

It all starts with a little cup of coffee

I always treasure stories of “random acts of kindness” (there’s even a Facebook page by that name which embodies the spirit of doing good by stealth). I think you will recall the story of “The Candy Lady” From A Little Loveliness blog.

 

Likewise, I really liked reading this story of how you can cheer some stranger’s morning with a random cup of coffee. Its a lovely way to bring a little cup of sunshine into someone’s life! And I really like how creative the world’s do-gooders are getting!

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“That best portion of a man’s life, his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindnessand love.” – William Wordsworth

“We enter a little coffeehouse with a friend of mine and give our order. While we’re approaching our table two people come in and they go to the counter:
‘Five coffees, please. Two of them for us and three suspended’ They pay for their order, take the two and leave.

I ask my friend: “What are those ‘suspended’ coffees?”
My friend: “Wait for it and you will see.”

Some more people enter. Two girls ask for one coffee each, pay and go. The next order was for seven coffees and it was made by three lawyers – three for them and four ‘suspended’. While I still wonder what’s the deal with those ‘suspended’ coffees I enjoy the sunny weather and the beautiful view towards the square in front of the café. Suddenly a man dressed in shabby clothes who looks like a beggar comes in through the door and kindly asks
‘Do you have any suspended coffee?’

It’s simple – people pay in advance for a coffee meant for someone who can not afford a warm beverage. The tradition with the suspended coffees started in Naples, but it has spread all over the world and in some places you can order not only a suspended coffee, but also a sandwich or a whole meal.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have such cafés or even grocery stores in every town where the less fortunate will find hope and support? If you own a business why don’t you offer it to your clients… I am sure many of them will like it.

Please join https://www.facebook.com/SuspendedCoffeess?ref=hl

Prom Queen!

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A scintillating combination of royal purple and canary yellow for the upcoming prom diva @ 1Dress

You live life only once! And a prom is a once in a lifetime event! Just like every little girl wants to be a Disney princess and tries on her mother’s shoes, make-up and fur; every teen aspires to queen it over all the others at the mega-event of the school year – the PROM!

So to look your best, get ahead of the crowd! Start shopping now! The stores will have a better, larger stock in the months of January and February. You will also have plenty of time for alterations and ironing out the small nitty-gritties that stand in the way of looking your very best!

Stores like 1Dress have a large selection of prom clothes to suit your budget, weight and style. When picking a prom dress, always first start with a dress a size larger than the one you would normally go for. Prom dresses are like wedding gowns and they usually run a size smaller. Try to get a rough idea of what’s in the store by just browsing their online catalogue….you might come right across real gems like these at 1Dress.

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Regal in red! Turn heads with this cascading beauty @ 1Dress

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A fun combination of tango pink and black lace makes this prom gown a must-have @ 1Dress

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Set the ball ablaze in blue with this floor-length stunner @ 1Dress

Remember to always try on the dresses – as the dress will be more flattering and flow along the right lines on your body rather than on the hanger. Or at least try a similar style, if the one you want isn’t in the right size or fits your budget. When shopping always keep an open mind and take a friend or aunt along  as you might eventually pick on a dress you would have never imagined you’d wear.  Every dress will need at least a little alteration before it fits you perfectly, so try shopping for your shoes along with the dress so that it can be hemmed to the right length. 1Dress has loads and loads of really unique prom dresses, if you’ll have the patience to go down their vast catalogue and pick the one – that will be the ONE!

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Prom gowns in all colours @ 1Dress

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An icy, wintery tulle prom gown to bring out the queen in you @ 1Dress

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Flowers n butterflies adorn this tulle-creation @ 1Dress

Unique prom dresses @ Dress1

Unique prom dresses @ Dress1

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Princess Jasmine in blue @ 1Dress

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What are little girls made of? Sugar n spice n all that’s nice! Look sweet n simple with this beauty @ 1Dress

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Intricate beading work makes this strapless red gown a class apart @ 1Dress

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Unique prom dresses @ 1Dress

But what if you are not Cindrella? What if you don’t have a fairy godmother to bestow upon you a dazzling gown, a gold-inlaid coach and liveried footmen? Well, then 1Dress can step in with a magic wand and whisk you into the sparkly, twinkly gown of your dreams! 1Dress has a wonderful line of gowns for the prom queen on a budget! Do check out their selection!
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Budget prom dresses @ 1Dress

And like I said earlier, 1Dress has a gown for every budget, style and size. Their plus-size gowns are the one of the most flattering that you can find! They have a really stylish range of dresses and you’d be tempted to buy more than one prom dress!

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Plus size prom gowns @ 1Dress

For the junior social butterfly, who has still not entered her final year, 1Dress has a selection of short, sweet prom frocks that will look apt, cute n chic as you cut a dash on the dance floor. I know the word “advice” doesn’t go well with teens or pre-teens, but it always helps to get a second opinion from your mother and friends as they will be able to steer you away from an expensive and unflattering choice.

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A sequin-studded sea glass creation for Junior Prom @ 1Dress

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A sweet belted red number for juniors @ 1Dress

Keeping your friends clued in about your dress will also mean that they choose a different style and colour that will complement and not clash with your special choice! Try to not go overboard with the dress, as you’ll also need a little spare cash to buy accessories and shoes. Nothing beats the effect of a simple gold or silver chain over a frothy neckline or a pretty corsage over a sequin-studded bodice – so try to save up for those magical little jewelled extras that can adorn your hair, neck and arms. But most of all enjoy yourself! Savour the shopping! Love the clothes and have a ball!

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Exquisite prom ball gowns in a lovely froth of tulle, lace & sequins @ 1Dress

Motherhood in the words of another journalist!

When I read this I really wanted to share….because this mother – my friend & colleague – spoke the same language as me – a language that sometime bewilders my single friends. Loved every line she wrote; especially this – “The first time she touched my cheeks to sense what I was – that was bliss. That feeling would remain unmatched for the rest of my life” – Shyamala Seetharaman

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I know this post is passe but I can’t help it. I’m so used to writing boring year-end copies while at work. So, by force of habit, here is my round up of 2013.
1. I quit my job in January so there’s nothing much to write about it. For now, I’m a sit-at-home mom but, consciously, not the nighty wearing (I hate the outfit!), constantly cribbing, mega serial watching type. Not yet. Hopefully never.
2. I kept physically and mentally busy during the break from work. As planned, my daughter was delivered with relative ease. Normal delivery has become such a rarity, everyone was surprised and reconfirmed to make sure they heard it right 
3. My daughter was a revelation, in a way that I started to question my own perceptions of me. For starters, never did I know I could be hysterical; helplessly screaming at the middle of the night was not a trait I possessed ever before.
4. My daughter cried non-stop through the night during her first month. I never knew newborns would have trouble sleeping. Mine did, and now I know, most babies do. It took our family quite a while to figure out that my daughter was not hungry when she screamed at night but was terribly sleepy and didn’t know how to doze off. “Sleep like a baby” is an expression I’ve come to loath in the last nine months.
5. Four straight hours of sleep is a luxury I have been denied for the last 11 months.
6. Become a mother to know your lowest lows – physically and emotionally. I can write a whole book on this.
7. Become a mother to know your strengths – physical and emotional. I constantly lecture unsuspecting victims on this 
8. My daughter was about four months old when she consciously started to practice motor skills. She realised her limbs could be used to hold, grab and touch. The first time she touched my cheeks to sense what I was – that was bliss. That feeling would remain unmatched for the rest of my life. All the pains of motherhood are worth enduring for moments like these.
9. I’ve become super efficient. With a toddler to attend to 24*7, I don’t have a choice

Christmas @ The ChocolateKids Playschool

One of my school friends S Nirmala started the Chocolate Kids Play School in Chennai in 2011 for tiny-tots. The school has seen rapid growth and is now a familiar cornerstone in the bustling, sub-urban area of Guduvancheri.

At her school, they recently hosted their Christmas celebrations and I really couldn’t resist showing you pictures of the  children’s handiwork. Pretty talented wouldn’t you say?

The Nativity scene - pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
The Nativity scene – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool

Tiny Christmas trees all sparkling with the efforts of their bright, little owners - pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
Tiny Christmas trees all sparkling with the efforts of their bright, little owners – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
Another set of prettily decked up cheery trees  - pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
Another set of prettily decked up cheery trees – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
A little Christmas village made from paper hats -  pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
A little Christmas village made from paper hats – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
An Indian Gingerbread house -  pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
An Indian Gingerbread house – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool
A 3-d card paper Christmas tree and a cotton-snowman -  pic courtesy Chocolate School Kids playschool
A 3-d card paper Christmas tree and a cotton-snowman – pic courtesy ChocolateKids playschool

Twas the night before Christmas’

I’m not sure whether this is copy-righted stuff – but anyway just thought I’d share what I received in my mail today.  A brokerage today decided they’s spruce up their poetic skills and render all clients “A very Merry Christmas” in song.

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‘Twas the night before Christmas and all across the Street,

There was nary a Like, and barely a Tweet.

The stocks traded up, fresh highs in the air,

With client hopes that bonuses soon would be there.

 

The analysts were hopeful, at home with their kids

That the taper wouldn’t cause stocks to skid.

When what to my wondering eye did I see,

Twitter stock more then doubling, led by @dickc.

 

Facebook’s new cash made the balance sheet fat,

But, would FB use it to buy young Snapchat?

Marissa’s soaring stock made her smile and cheer,

As visions of an Alibaba IPO formed for next year.

 

eBay’s Donahoe and Swan were smiling too,

As it looks like they had a much better 4Q.

Spencer of Zillow sat back in his chair,

Happy to see a growing market share.

 

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,

I checked Huff Po Live to see what was the matter.

Then LinkedIn updates I searched in a flash,

But no answer was there, so to the window I dashed.

 

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,

So pretty I said, “Google Glass – record the below”.

When what to my wondering eye should appear,

Jeff Bezos’ drone copters delivering presents far and near.

 

Then I saw a market sage so lively and quick,

I new it was Cramer lickety-split.

More rapid then eagles his stock picks came,

And he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

 

“Now LinkedIn! Now Amazon!

Now Yahoo! And Google!

On Facebook! On Zillow!

On eBay and Twitter!

To the top of the charts, rise up high

Rise up far – buy, buy, buy”*

 

I sprang to my Droid phablet to Instagram the scene,

The Holidays were clearly the prominent meme.

Then I Tweeted to clients, as our stock picks felt right,

“Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!”