Friday, 31 January 2020

Monthly Favourites: January 2020.







1. Chick Mini-Backpack: A belated Christmas present, this little cutie is just too cute for words. She is very tiny, she doesn't even fit my Kindle but..I mean somethings you love not for their functionality. 







2. Blue Skies: The skies are somehow prettier in the first half of the year. Bombay has been blessed with the most perfect skies lately and not to mention our wonderful weather all January long. I hope this fleeting winter lingers on for longer. 


More fluffs. 


Dusk Tales. 
The view out of my bedroom window on most evenings is something truly special. 




3. Planner Love: I have been loving my Alicia Souza planner so much. I wasn't entirely sold on it when it arrived but after using it for a month now...I am happy as can be. I will be sharing a whole review soon. So stay tuned for that. 












4. Home: After 3.5 months of being in the hometown it was bittersweet to head back home. 
It was messy, dusty and chaotic. But slowly we found our way back to normal. 
We also added some new bits of wall art to our living room by re-using our 2019 planner from Bhuli. Love these new pops of colour. 





5. Strawberry Cookie Pie Fondue from Bombae Bake: This has got to be the best thing I've eaten all month. A treat and a delight. 
So good! 



6. Hobonichi Techo Cover: My sister's cover for her 2020 Hobonichi Techo is a thing of beauty. Birds. Embroidery. Ah! So pretty. 



7. Unicorn Pencil Case: I got me this super colourful pencil case. I saw it on some IG shop where they sell it stuffed with other unicorn goodies and I was so tempted to get. Later on I saw the exact same thing on Amazon and got it sans the little (pretty useless) additional stuff. It is spacious and study and fits so much stuff. I am so in love, even though I am not a big unicorn person. 


8. Reading: My reading life in January was LIT. 
I read 15 books. 
15! 
I am super happy with all the reading I accomplished this month. If the rest of 2020 could follow in January's footsteps I'd be more than content. 
Wrap up coming soon. I read some pretty good books too and I bought only 1 physical book. 
Go me! 
:) 

You were a good month January. A brilliant start to 2020 and full of good days, pleasant weather, good food and good books. 
Thank you :) 
See ya next year! 
:) 

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Book Journal 2020. {Set-Up and Decor.}

Hello! 

I recently, well a couple of weeks ago, finally set up my Book Journal for 2020. I've been using the same notebook, from Rifle Paper Co since 2018 and now it will house 3 years worth of book reviews and musings and thoughts and lists of books to get and books I didn't finish. In short, the very essence of my bookish life lives in this notebook. I've had a Book Journal since 2012. Before that I used whichever planner I was using as a means of keeping tab on my reading but let me tell you, having a specific place for all my book related things to be in has been a a life changer. Not to mention it's took to have a place to go look back at my year's reading. 

So let's see how I went about setting my Book Journal for 2020. 
I set this journal using the limited amount of supplies I had carried with me on my holiday. But I still think it's turned out pretty good! 




The front page for this year. 
A girl with flowers and all things that make my bookish heart happy. 
Flowers. 
Coffee. 
Plants. 
Candles. 
Pens. 
Glasses.
A cozy chair to read on. 
A stack of books! 

All of these little stickers are from The Planner Society Kit. 


My Bookish Life. 



The supplies I used. 
Sticker sheets from Planner Society. 
Girl stickers from BonBon Stickers. 



To differentiate between the last year and this I used this postcard from Hastnirmit that she sent across as a freebie with a bunch of bookmarks I had ordered. 
It's a perfect mood for my book journal. 


Monthly pages. 


Reading Resolutions. 
&
20 Books I want to Read in 2020. 


I am still working on this list. 


Some months when I can be bothered to make a TBR, I make one and then I start writing about the books I've read and how I feel about them. 

I also have a running list of books I want to buy and a list of books I DNF-ed through the year. 
Basically anything book related ends up here. 
Do you have a book journal? 

SUPPLIES USED/// 

Notebook- Rifle Paper Co.

Postcard- Bookmarks by Hastnirmit 

Sticker and Diecuts- The Planner Society Kit 

Girl Stickers- BonBon Stickers 


Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Reading Tips for Busy Days




The most common question or comment or well compliment I usually get is..How do you read so much? 
Normally, I thank the person and say something flippant like, "Oh, reading is my one and only super power."
That's not untrue. I do read a lot and do read pretty fast. But I think there is more to my reading like I do than I usually let on or give myself credit for. 

I am a fast reader, there is no doubt about that. I have on occasion finished a 450 page book in a day...a couple of hours actually. I also usually finish books in a day or two. In my world, reading a book over a period of 3 days is pretty rare. 

Also, and more importantly I ADORE READING. 
I LOVE BOOKS. 
It's something I choose over all other distractions the world has to offer. 
I would rather be reading than doing anything else. 
Seriously! 

So my reading speed and volume is defined my the way I live my life. 
I have in the past done one more post about How To Read More. But today I want to talk about the days and times in our life when life gets so busy that we find it hard to pick up a book and devote some time to reading. 
I've also been getting a lot of DMs asking for reading tips and after mulling over it for a few days here we are..

READING TIPS FOR BUSY DAYS! 

1. Make Reading a Priority: It is as simple as that. Choose to read. Make it a priority. Simple and easy. If you want to read more, do just that. Make the effort. Don't just say it do it. Have a stack of books that you are dying to read close at hand. Keep them accessible and read whenever you find the time. Don't be precious about your reading. Read when you can. Read while waiting for a bus or an appointment. Read before bed. Read first thing in the morning. The point is READ. Don't just plan or intend to read. Just do it. 

2. Put Away Your Phone: You don't need me to tell you that phones have taken over our lives and can be massive time sucks! So, if you are trying to read more, make a conscious effort to put away your phone and pick up a book when you have bits of free time. Every little bit adds up and before you know it, you'd have made a huge dent in your book! Reading or not, we could all do with a little less phone time! 

3. Consider Investing in a Kindle/ an E-Reader: A Kindle, or any E-Reader for that matter,  is light and portable. You can take it to work every single day without it taking up significant room in your bag. Kindles/ E-Readers also allows you to have a bunch of different books at your fingertips and so, if you are not in the mood for a certain genre or book, you can easily pick another one without having to lug multiple physical books around! 

4. Try Audiobooks: Reading does not necessarily mean the conventional definition of the term. If you have a really busy schedule or say you are a new mom, whose hands are always full (literally and otherwise!), audiobooks are a great way to get some reading in whilst doing chores, cooking, during your commute (if you are the one driving) etc.! Audible is a great audiobook app and I am sure there are some others as well that you can try. 

5. Read What You Love: During busy days, try reading books that you like. Suppose you enjoy romance or thrillers or literary fiction, grab a book from any of these genres instead of trying to read something off the Booker Long List or a Fantasy Fiction book! Stick to genres that you enjoy and chances are that you will find yourself picking up that book as and when you find the time during your day. Something that works for my sister, for instance, is reading crime thrillers during her busy phases. These tend to be fast-moving, fast-paced books and she manages to finish them fairly quickly because it is a genre she enjoys. 

6. Use Your Commute: Whether your commute to work is long or short, use it to read. As seasoned local train travellers, my sister and I used our 45 minute commute to read and listen to FM radio. Best kind of multi-tasking ever! We got so much reading done and it was such a good way to tune out noises and just escape into the world of our books! Even if your commute is short, there is no harm in reading for that 10-15 minute drive! You'll at least knock off one chapter of your book in that time! 

7. Join a Book Club: You don't necessarily have to physically go to a Book Club to join one! These days there are multiple celebrity and non-celebrity Book Clubs online (Instagram, Facebook, Good Reads etc.) that anyone can be a part of from anywhere in the world. Apart from the sense of community and discussions that a Book Club provides, it is a great place to find book recommendations! So, find a Book Club that you like and join it ASAP. 

8. Buddy Read: If you don't want to join a Book Club or can't find one that you like, then Buddy Reading is a great, easier-to-implement alternative for you! My sister and I often Buddy Read books together and it is a great way to motivate each other to read and then have a detailed discussion on the book. So, ask a friend, spouse or sibling if they'd like to read a book along with you and both of you can motivate each other and keep each other accountable and on-track! 

9. Make Small Pockets of Time for Reading: On insanely busy days, try and keep 10-15 minutes or half an hour (if you can!) to read. This can be before bed or when you feel like taking a break from work or just any time in the day when you feel that doing something else for a bit may actually help you be more productive. My sister, on very busy days, reads for 15-20 minutes before bed or when she feels like she has hit a wall work-wise, she picks up her book and reads for half an hour and then gets back to work. See if either of these techniques work for you. 

10. Reward Yourself: On busy days, tell yourself that if you finish x, y and z off your list, you will reward yourself with some quiet reading time with your beverage of choice. We human beings love being rewarded for good behaviour! So, once you have crossed off a bunch of items on your to-do list for the day, tell yourself that you've earned 15 minutes of quiet time with your book and chai. This is also a good way of de-stressing and practicing a little mindfulness even during very hectic days. Also, reward yourself when you finish a book! It doesn't have to be something big, but just something to remind you that you had a very busy, productive week and you also read a book! Nothing better than positive reinforcement to inculcate good habits, right? 


Enjoy reading! You will never regret the time that you spend with your books! :) 


Monday, 27 January 2020

Monday Moods: Notebook and Bookmark Haul from Artery by HB.


Hello! 

Let's kick off this week with some beautiful stationery bits. 
I recently got some gorgeous stationery from Anupriya's brand Artery by HB. I have bought buttons and bookmarks from her before and loved it all. So when I saw these new beauties on her IG, I knew I had to have them! 

First up I got this gorgeous notebook.
Floral.
Pink. 
Ruled. 
Ah! 
A thing of beauty. 


And now for the main event- The Bookmarks. 
Look how cute! 
Colourful.
Vibrant. 
Glossy. 
And such lovely quality. 


Anupriya also very sweetly sent us some free stickers which we promptly put on our laptop. 
Good Vibes all around. 


So happy with everything I got. 

Check out Artery by HB and get yourself some treats! 

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Stationery Sunday: Blog Planner 2020. {Alicia Souza A Year of Cheer Pocket Planner.}


Hello! 
How is your Sunday been so far? 
Oh also, Happy Republic Day, fellow Indians. 
Today, and what this day stands for a good reminder to what, we as a country and as a people stand for. 
I hope and pray that all of us remember the values that our Constitution was built on and we remain true to those sentiments. 


For today's post I want to share a few glimpses of my Blog Planner. 
A planner I use to keep my Blog Life in order. It's not too complicated or sophisticated it's just enough for me keep my posts in order and see what my blogging month looks like.

I usually always have a blog planner. It's usually a freestyle Bujo like set up. A journal or TN insert where I brainstorm ideas and make long lists of all kinds of posts I want to do. But some years, last 2019 for instance I went sans one and I knew I wanted to get back on track and have a planner/place to keep my blogging in order. 
And before I could spend time wondering where said planner would be, the answer came to me rather unexpectedly and for free might I add. 
I ordered the Alicia Souza Planner and it came with a freebie, a pocket sized planner that was PERFECT for my Blog Planning needs! 
Yesss! 

It has what I need most in my Blog Planner, a month at a glance sort of set up, where I can jot down the posts I want to do or have done. 
And it also has a little space for list making. 

I've been using this planner for close to a month now and I am super duper happy with it. 


The planner is also full of these super darling illustrations at the beginning of each month. 
:) 



My January pages. 
I use different coloured highlights to differentiate between the genres of blog posts. 
Yellow = Bookish Posts 
Pink = Lifestyle 
So I can tell at the glance the kinds of posts I've put up on the blog. 


A space for lists and To-Dos. 
A place to set goals for blog posts and the pictures I need to take for my posts. 
I do wish there was a little more space for list making, not much but maybe an extra page. 
But I do have my main planner and a hundred other places to make those lists so I am not sweating it. 


The front pages asks for a drawing and I had my sister doodle my face! 
:) 


Blank pages before I go in and chart out my next month. 


More cuteness and illustrations! 
So darn cute. 


I am so in love with this little planner. 
If not for Blog Planning I think this works really well as a 

Pocket Planner.
Meal Planner. 
Mood Tracker.
Reading Tracker. 
Expense Tracker. 

I mean this little thing can be very versatile. 
And it retails for only Rs. 250! 

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Book Haul: Books of December 2019 (Christmas Book Haul.)

Hello! 
Book Hauls have been pretty scant in my corner of the world and it's OK. Since September I've been buying only a handful of books here and there. And even this month, I haven't bought one physical book! 
Who am I?
Jokes apart, my shelves are full of books that I need to read, so I am more than OK slowing down with my incessant book buying. But..February is my birthday month and I might just throw all caution to wind and buy myself some amazing books. 
Only time will tell! 

For now I want to share some books I picked up in December. 
This is my December/Christmas book haul and I got all of these from a Book Fair in my hometown and paid 30% off for all of these! 
:)  


I read this book already and I really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure of what to expect going in but it was fun and interesting to read about the man behind the legend. 


Started my year with Tagore and it was a good decision.
Read all the short stories in this collection and might pick it up, once I am back in the hometown in October and read some more. 


One of the few books by Amitav Ghosh that I hadn't read. Need to fix it. Will probably read it next month. 


This beautiful book caught my eye mainly because of it's cover but look how incredible the premise sounds. 
Can't wait to read it soon. 
Perhaps this month itself. 



Roald Dahl is always a good idea. 



BOOKS BOUGHT/// 

The Circle of Reason by Amitav Ghosh 
The Best of Roald Dahl 
The Monk as Man by Sankar 
The House with a Thousand Stories by Aruni Kashyap 
Greatest Works of Tagore


Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Haul: Two Cute Things from Chumbak.


Chumbak is one of my favourite places to shop from, I love pretty much everything they make. 

Mugs. 
Stationery. 
Plushies/ Cushions. 
Shoes. 
Watches. 
Tableware. 

Their aesthetic is right up my alley. 
My home is full of their beautiful things. 


I recently made a small spree from them and got a couple of things. 
Two cushion covers (not pictures here.)
This adorable Panda Trinket Tray.
&
A cushion shaped like a house! 

So whimsy and so cute. 


Look at this thing of beauty! 
A cushion shaped like a cozy, happy home. 
So freaking cute! 
I mean...look at it! 
Love the colours and how perfectly squishy she is. 
:) 
She looks so good sitting on my big chair! 


My home is my happy place. 
I honestly could happily stay home for days on end and not miss the outside world. I am one of those people who could stay put, surrounded by my books and journals and comfy chair and be entirely content. 



Look at the details in this thing of beauty. 

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Weekend Reads: What My Sister and I are Reading This Weekend.


Hello! 

I hope your weekend is off to a good start. 

My plans for this weekend are to cook delicious meals and read good books. 

Here's What I am Reading/// 

Baluta by Daya Pawar, Translated by Jerry Pinto: I have been meaning to get to this book forever. One of the first ever Dalit autobiographies, this book is set in the 1950s and 60s Mumbai and parts of it in the author's village. Dealing with his childhood, caste, discrimination and family, this book is a powerful and sadly still just as relevant and needed. It's horrifying that even 50 years later not much has changed when it comes to our (India's) cruelty and caste bias. A book that is in parts hard to read but so important. 

Plot Summary: Baluta caused a sensation when it first appeared, in Marathi, in 1978. It quickly acquired the status of a classic of modern Indian literature and was also a bestseller in Hindi and other major languages. This is the first time that it has been translated into English. Set in Mumbai and rural Maharashtra of the 1940s and ’50s, it describes in shocking detail the practice of untouchability and caste violence. But it also speaks of the pride and courage of the Dalit community that often fought back for dignity. Most unusually, Baluta is also a frank account of the author’s own failings and contradictions—his passions, prejudices and betrayals—as also those of some leading lights of the Dalit movement. In addition, it is a rare record of life in Maharashtra’s villages and in the slums, chawls and gambling dens of Mumbai.

Publisher: Speaking Tiger 

My Sister is Reading///

Paper Moon by Rehana Munir: I read this back in November and really enjoyed it and have been bugging her to read this as well. So she finally picked it up on Friday and is nearly done with it. And she liked it just as much. 

Plot Summary: BOOKS. BOMBAY. ROMANCE. 
When her estranged father passes away, Fiza, fresh out of college, discovers that he has left her a tidy sum in the hope that she will open a bookshop... Overnight, Fiza's placid life is thrown into a whirl of decor decisions and book-buying sprees, unconventional staff and colourful patrons, small pleasures and little heartbreaks, as the store - Paper Moon - begins to take shape in a charming, old Bandra mansion. To top it all, she is being wooed by Iqbal, a mysterious customer who frequents the shop, and Dhruv, her ex-boyfriend, her feelings for whom are still confused. Can Fiza take charge of her life, reconcile with the past, and reach for everything that is hers?

I've already done a full review for this book and you can read it HERE. 

Publisher: Harper Collins India. 

Other plans for the weekend include, watching Bala and maybe some kind of scary film. 
And drink lots of Masala Chai. 
:) 

Have a good one guys. 

Friday, 17 January 2020

Friday Favourites: Book Journal + Fog + Home Decor + Art + Captain Marvel.

Hello! 
From my unexpectedly cold city to yours. 
I was so sad about leaving the hometown and coming back to Bombay, for multiple reasons, but the chief one being I was coming back to a hot city from my winter wonderland. So imagine my surprise and gratitude to find that Bombay is wonderfully cold and doing winter rather well. 
Yay!
So the weather we are currently experiencing in most certainly one of my absolute favourites. 

Here are some other things I've been loving recently. 


1. Book Journal 2020: I set up my 2020 book journal last week when  I was still in the hometown. I used the same Rifle Paper Co. notebook I've been using since 2018 and used the supplies I had with me during holiday. This is the front page and I intend on sharing a full flip through to show you more of my book journal. (Keep an eye out for that.) 

I love how this page turned out. 
I used a postcard from Hastnirmit. 
&
Stickers from BonBon Stickers and The Planner Society Kit. 




2. Fog: Seen on our drive to the airport last week, a fog filled dreamscape. I am so glad I got to experience winter, I am honestly so much happier when its cold and cozy. 


3. Wall Art: Did a fun little home improvement project today, repurposed pages from my 2019 Calendar from Bhuli to add some much needed colour to my living room wall. These prints are just too cute to discard after the year was up. Look so beautiful! My wall looks brand new and for free..well I did pay for the calendar but you know what I mean. 


4. Art: More art loves, this one was in a Pujo pandal. I wish I could add these to my home. I wonder what becomes of these decor pieces once Pujo wraps up. I have seen elements on one pandal being used in another location, sometimes in the same town and sometimes in the neighbouring one. A good way to re-use and not be wasteful. 


5. Captain Marvel: I recently, as in day before yesterday watched Captain Marvel..properly. I tried watching it before Endgame came out but I didn't like it. It was too much. Too much new information. Plus, I didn't really like any of the characters. BUT...on watching it properly I feel a little different. I liked it. It's by no means one of my favourite films in the MCU, but it was still enjoyable and fun in the ways films in this world are. 
It's available to stream on Hotstar if you want to watch it.