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The First Furry Bud – Eva

I’d been MIA from last year so much that a lot of people have started thinking that I have stopped blogging altogether. That is not true! I love this blog and this is the main one I have so I am never going to stop posting here, no matter what. Now that we have that out of the way, I’d like to share with all you guys, my beloved readers, the reason why I went MIA from last 12 months – our first furry baby, Eva.

Eva’s pic posted for the ad by the foster parents.

We decided to adopt a kitten in late August and exactly within a week, on 3rd September we brought this amazing kitten we found a posting about on the internet. We had planned to have a cat for a very long time, just as we planned to have a dog, and already knew what was going to be her name – Eva. She was such a munchkin that we fell in love with her at first sight!

She is one of the most amazing things to have happened to Vishal and me after our marriage and that’s one of the reasons we love her so much more than we could ever love anyone ever!! Eva is tremendously smart, extremely intelligent and an adorable fur-doll. We love her so much that we even didn’t leave the house while taking care of her for the first 3 months as she was just a little cuddle baby of 47 days when we got her.

She is almost a year old presently (her birthday is on 13th July) and has grown into a feisty and charming little girl that we always knew she would be. My Instagram is full of her pictures but here are some I truly adore:

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Camp NaNoWriMo April’18

Camp NaNoWriMo April’18

Hello world, I’m back from yet another break!

Like every year since 2014, I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo April’18. For this month I don’t have a lot planned out, but just a basic idea of what needs to be done. I’m mainly going to go for 2 things this time – sorting out the ending of Sinister Town and writing the first draft of a story I’d started as a short series flash-fiction, Jessie.

Over the last couple of months, I’d have some really good, strange, outright hilarious and some really amazeballs story ideas and, strangely enough, I wrote them all down. I never really write down random story ideas anymore, I used to write them down very carefully when I started out as a writer, but after I heard the invincible, and my writing idol, SK mention in one of his many speeches, that if you can’t remember an idea for a year (or basically a long time) then it’s not worth

working on. That was the point where I abandoned scribbling down ideas and, now that I reflect on it, maybe that was one of the reasons for my major writer’s block. Anyway, so I’d been writing down random ideas, mostly because I’d been in a writing slump lately (for like a year and a half now) and so I just wanted something different to write about – something random that would help me in ‘pantsing.’

So I have those story ideas to develop too. One of them is a dark elf story and I can already feel it coming together beautifully as a full-length novel. So I hope I have enough things to write and meet my goal of 50K words as I really need to get back into my usual flow of writing, something that I dearly miss!

I wish all of you who are participating in Camp Nano April all the very best!

Ciao ❤

The Ticking Clock

The Ticking Clock

Lately, I’ve developed this (somewhat weird) obsession with keeping track of the time all the time… All. The. TIME.

And the weird part (even more so) is that it started out of nowhere!

I’d always been mildly time-conscious and have had an obsession about doing things on time, but never did I obsess over each and every hour of the day like this before. Now, I keep on checking the clock every 5-10 minutes while working on anything, unless I really get into doing something, like writing and reading, and forget to see the time. It’s very tiring and testing, to say the least.

If I get busy doing something and don’t notice the time for an hour or two, I start to feel disoriented, disconcerted and anxious. That may be strange to anyone who doesn’t understand how OCD works, but for someone who’s always had it, I know that this is the beginning of a very serious problem. If left unchecked, it might lead to a point where I’ll start wearing a watch at home trying to keep track of every single minute (if not second.) And that would be very stressful and would give me tons of unnecessary anxiety.

So before it gets out of hand, I’m trying to get rid of it altogether. For this I have started doing the following things:

  1. I am intentionally trying to lose track of time as much as I can by engrossing myself into whatever I’m doing at a particular time, even while putting Eva to sleep or listening to the radio.
  2. Practicing breathing exercises (2-2 minutes only) whenever I start getting anxious for losing the track of time (this is generally needed when I follow the above step.) It works well sometimes, but sometimes I start feeling low… talk about things that can stress out a person!
  3. I’m trying to stay away from clocks as much as I can. I’ve removed the ones on my desk (and I had two of them, right next to each other!) and the one on the wall in my study.

These steps sound simple, but are not, at least not for compulsive-obsessive person. So I’ll just try to be consistent with these practices and hopefully this OCD will surpass like the earlier ones I had.

I’ll post about my progress int he coming months to keep you guys updated.

Thank you for reading!

Ciao ❤

Word Of The Week #47

Word Of The Week #47
Word Of The Week (WOW) is a weekly prompt created by me, Heena Rathore P, in my quest to improve my word knowledge by learning a new word every week (or so.) Being bilingual and an English language writer, English serves as my main language. I also read in the English language which makes learning new, difficult and rare words in the English language not only one of my major interest but also an inevitable necessity.  
If you like learning new words and want to participate then simply do a post with a unique or rare word and leave the link to your post as a comment on one of my WOW posts.

Here’s this week’s WOW:

Word:

callow

Part Of Speech:

adjective

Derivatives:

callowness – noun

Pronunciation:

cal-low ; /ˈkaləʊ/

Meaning:

: lacking adult sophistication

: (of a young person) inexperienced or immature

used to describe a young person who does not have much experience and does not know how to behave the way adults behave

Synonyms:

adoloscent, green, immature, inexperienced, juvenile, unfledged, unformed, unripe, unseasoned

Antonyms:

mature, sphisticated, experienced

Phrases/Informal Synonyms:

wet behind the ears

Word Origin:

Old English calu ‘bald’, of West Germanic origin, probably from Latin calvus ‘bald’. This was extended to mean ‘unfledged’, which led to the present sense ‘immature’.

Usage Note:

Use In Sentences:

– They told a story about a callow youth who learns the value of hard work and self-reliance.

– The latest batch is full of callow undergraduates.


Hope you guys found this week’s WOW’s valuable and hope it’s useful to you in some or the other way. If you want to check out more words like this, then visit my favourite page:

Word Treasure

Word Of The Week #46

Word Of The Week #46
Word Of The Week (WOW) is a weekly prompt created by me, Heena Rathore P, in my quest to improve my word knowledge by learning a new word every week (or so.) Being bilingual and an English language writer, English serves as my main language. I also read in the English language which makes learning new, difficult and rare words in the English language not only one of my major interest but also an inevitable necessity.  
If you like learning new words and want to participate then simply do a post with a unique or rare word and leave the link to your post as a comment on one of my WOW posts.

Here’s this week’s WOW:

Word:

blandish

Part Of Speech:

verb

Derivatives:

blandisher – noun

Pronunciation:

blan-dish ; /ˈblandɪʃ/

Meaning:

: to coax with flattery or cajole

: to act or speak in a flattering or coaxing manner

: coax with kind words or flattery

Synonyms:

coax, blarney, palaver, wheedle, overpraise

Antonyms:

disparage, critisize, bug, harass, nag, pester, tease, browbeat, bully

Phrases/Informal Synonyms:

soft-soap, sweet-talk

Word Origin:

Middle English: from Old French blandiss-, lengthened stem of blandir, from Latin blandiri, from blandus‘soft, smooth’.

Usage Note:

Use In Sentences:

– They blandished her into doing their work for them by complimenting her shamelessly.

– Despite being nervous, Josh was able to offer just the right blandishment to Norah.


Hope you guys found this week’s WOW’s valuable and hope it’s useful to you in some or the other way. If you want to check out more words like this, then visit my favourite page:

Word Treasure

My First Bullet Journal – BuJo 2018

I fell in love with the idea of Bullet Journaling in December 2017 when I came across a couple of BuJo flip-through videos on YouTube. Before that, I did see a couple of posts on my Instagram feed on BuJos but they never really caught my attention the way some of these beautiful videos did.

So, once I was sure this was something I was interested in, I went on binge-watching 50 or so videos and made a list of pages I wanted in my BuJo and added the supplies needed for this in my Amazon cart. And the next thing I know, for my bday Vishal ordered my entire Amazon cart. So he gifted me everything that I needed for starting my own BuJo in December end.

Since then I’ve been obsessively doodling in my sketchbooks and figuring out hand lettering with brush pens and markers. Oh… I feel so alive brimming with the joy of drawing, colouring and painting again!

I made a practice BuJo too (a cheaper version of the real journal) just to make sure I don’t spoil my main BuJo that anyway arrived later than I thought. So as my January month is in the practice BuJo, I’m going to start the monthly logs from February in the new one.

Following is the glimpse inside the first few pages of my new BuJo 2018. Enjoy!

Pages 1 & 2: I did a minimalistic design (and a simple one too) for the main 2018 page (on the left). Page-2 is just a simple page with Happy New Year. This one seems a bit crude and unclean as I was just beginning to grasp hand-lettering and didn’t have enough practice.

Pages 3 & 4: Year at a glance. I’ve highlighted (using colour codes) the various important dates, events and festivals. These I’ve noted down in detail in the Future Log.

Pages 5 & 6: Future Log on left (yet to be completed) and one of the sayings I really believe in on the right. The pen strokes are far better in this quote and I was quite happy with the outcome. I’m far from perfect (too far) but it’s definitely an improvement.

Pages 7 & 8: Ideal Day. This is one of the most important pages in my BuJo. This is what an ideal day looks like for me and I try to stick to it no matter how hard it gets or how late I sleep or wake up. I’ve also made sun and mood doodles to make the pages look more fun and colourful.

Pages 9 & 10: Again two very important pages and one of my personal favourites! On the left is Recipe Index, a page to maintain whatever recipe ideas come to my mind. I have a cook who comes to my home twice to cook meals and more often than not I run out of dish ideas. She’s an excellent cook and makes awesome food so this would help me remember all the different and not-so-common dishes I can ask her to make. Also, it would bring more variety to food, especially in the evenings when we have hard drinks, cocktails or wine.
If you’ve read any of my posts on any of my social media accounts then you’d know that Vishal and I are movie buffs. We watch 2-3 back to back new releases every alternate (if not every) week. And if we happen to miss some movie then we buy them from a contact Vishal has who sells amazing prints of movies (new or old.) So the right side page is dedicated to keeping a log of all the movies we watch and/or want to watch. At the bottom of the page, I’ve added a section for Series for all the series I’ll be completing or look forward to completing this year.

Pages 11 & 12: Left side page is dedicated to my yearly bucket list. Simply enough it’s a list of things I want to do this year. And on the right-hand side, I’ve done a Quote that I find quite inspiring.

Pages: 13 & 14: Vision Board, pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it. I’m a follower of The Universe and power of Attraction and Manifestation concept, so I’ve had a Vision Board on my wall from the last couple of years. This will be my first time having one in a notebook, so I’m really excited for this one!

Pages 15 & 16: Memory Lane is basically a kind of collection of every memorable thing that you want to remember. I’ll be adding memories next to the respective month’s board. The reason why I really liked the idea of Memory Lane page was that it is a way of being appreciative of good things and being appreciative means being grateful. And I’m big on being grateful. So this suits me perfectly.

Pages 17 & 18: On the left, I’ve done a Milestones page which is covered in various crystal doddles. I’ve made segments in these crystals and added numbers to them, the idea is to fill colour in the respective session as and when I reach the numbers. The first line of 3 crystals are for my personal Blog, Instagram and Twitter accounts and the second row is for those of TRB’s and the third one has only one big crystal for my Quora account that I have on my name (TRB is not on Quora and I’m planning to keep it that way.)
On the right side, I’ve made a Reading Progress page which is in sync with my Goodreads Challenge of reading 120 books. There are 12 boxes of 10 books each so I’ll be filling each box with colour as and when I’ll be completing 10 books.

Pages 19 & 20: On the left is my Earnings page to keep a track of all the work I do in the year. In case if I run out of place (which I’m pretty sure will happen considering last year’s work), I’ll be making another similar page in between the monthly logs. On the right side is my Investments page. This year I’m planning to invest money (however little I could spare) on a personal level. So this will help me keep track of my investments.

Page 21: And last, but not the least, a page that everyone needs. I need this page more than anything else because I manage more than 5 accounts for myself, my book blog and the publishing company I work for. I manage 7-8 email inboxes, can you believe it!? So this will help me keep a track of all the passcodes.
As you can see I messed up the passcodes spelling and had to add an ‘s’ in the little space between ‘s’ and ‘c’, but at least it’s better than spelling it wrong. Anyway, on the right-hand side, I’ve displayed the pens I used for making the left-hand side page. These are also the same pens that I’ve used throughout the entire BuJo, though there are several other black pens that I didn’t show here (maybe I can do a separate post on the supplies I used because I really did use a LOT of them…hmmm… maybe.)

So that’s it. I’ll be making the February monthly log after this so I’ll share it in my monthly round-up post. Hope you guys liked my BuJo. This was my first attempt at BuJo’ing so I’m sure that things will look better from here on 🙂

Ciao ❤

Thai Cuisine? Check!

Thai Cuisine? Check!

I’ve wanted to learn Thai cuisine for so long that I don’t even remember since when exactly… and finally, I did it!!

Tada…

2018 has really started out well for me and I’m really grateful for it. Last year Vishal wanted to learn Italian cuisine as he and I both love Italian food, and he loves cooking, so he was very interested in going to an Italian cooking workshop and giving me a surprise by making pasta at home for me. So he searched a contact who taught Italian, but unfortunately, whenever they had Italian workshop, Vishal was busy. So he waited for some time and then gave up and told me about his plan and asked me to do it instead and then teach him so that he can cook Italian for me. Isn’t that sweet!!
Well, I agreed because I love cooking too, though I have already learned Italian twice, so I wasn’t that keen. Still, I registered for the next Italian workshop, but as fate would have it Eva wasn’t well at the time and I had to miss the class. Since then I’ve been waiting for the Italian workshop but it hasn’t been planned since as it is an extensive 2-day course. Luckily the same studio teaches other things as well including Thai cuisine. And when I received their message saying that they have a Thai cooking class on Wednesday (17th Jan’18) I immediately registered. Thankfully I was free and everything worked out! I met some really great people and learned some amazing Thai recipes.

Here’s what all I learned:

  • Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad)
  • Tom Yum Soup
  • Nam Prik Pow Relish
  • Peanut Sauce
  • Tofu and Paneer Satay with Peanut Sauce
  • Pad Thai Noodles
  • Thai Green Curry
  • Thai Red Curry
  • Jasmine Steamed Rice
  • Thai Basil Fried Rice
  • Lemon Grass Coconut Milk Pudding With Tropical Fruits

I’ll be trying these dishes next week as I need to get all the proper vegetables (some are really hard to find like Kaffir Lime Leaves and Galangal) and hope it turns out as good as these.

Hope you guys liked the pictures!

Ciao ❤

Word Of The Week #45

Word Of The Week #45
I am continuing the Word Of the Week (WOW) series where I left off in Feb 2016.
Word Of The Week (WOW) is a weekly prompt created by me, Heena Rathore P, in my quest to improve my word knowledge by learning a new word every week (or so.) Being bilingual and an English language writer, English serves as my main language. I also read in the English language which makes learning new, difficult and rare words in the English language not only one of my major interest but also an inevitable necessity.  
If you like learning new words and want to participate then simply do a post with a unique or rare word and leave the link to your post as a comment on one of my WOW posts.

Here’s this week’s WOW:

Word:

abject

Part Of Speech:

adjective

Derivatives:

abjectly – adverb

abjectness – noun

Pronunciation:

ab-ject ; /ˈabdʒɛkt/

Meaning:

: extremely bad or severe

: very humble : feeling or showing shame

: extremely unpleasant and degrading

: expressing or offered in a humble and often ingratiating spirit

Synonyms:

woeful, humble, menial, miserable, appaling, atrocious, pathetic, pitiful, growling, servile

Antonyms:

proud

Phrases/Informal Synonyms:

Word Origin:

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘rejected’): from Latin abjectus, past participle of abicere ‘reject’, from ab- ‘away’ + jacere ‘to throw’.

Usage Note:

Use In Sentences:

– They are living in abject poverty.

– He offered an abject apology.
– She thought he was an abject coward.

Hope you guys found this week’s WOW’s valuable and hope it’s useful to you in some or the other way. If you want to check out more words like this, then visit my favourite page:

Word Treasure

Happy New Year – 2018

Happy New Year – 2018

I’ve been continuously blogging over at TRB since December and also in the first week of 2018, so it feels weird to do my first post here SO LATE. Still, I have to do it to get past the “first-post-of-the-year” thing and get on with a much defined regular schedule of posts.

Late 2017 proved to be a really busy time for me as we shifted our home and got a kitten, Eva (more on this in my next post!) and everything just got overwhelming. Finally, things have settled into a steady rhythm and now I’m able to think of my weekly schedules and planning things.

For this blog, I’m reviving WOW – Word Of the Week so that at least I’ll have something to post regularly on the blog and also because I’m working on my vocabulary this year. So like before, WOW is going to be a weekly thing. I’m planning to post this every Saturday as Saturdays for me are quite relaxed.

I’ll try and post some short fiction or poems every month and will try and do a monthly round-up post, though I’m not promising anything.

I’m already working on my 2018 BuJo setup, 3 new story ideas and a couple of other things. I’ll be posting about random stuff more this year as my planned and scheduled posts take a lot of time for preps and stuff. And plus, I’ve discovered lately that I love random posts more than the planned ones.

Anyway, so here’s hoping that this year proves to be the best one for all of us. Cheers!

Ciao ❤

TRB On WordPress.ORG

I’ve been meaning to redesign The Reading Bud – TRB, for a long time now. Ever since I laid eyes on the Tweak Me theme by NoseGrace 2 years back, I knew I HAD to get it. And finally, I did. It was a huge step as a blogger because shifting platforms is never easy especially if you have a lot of content. I had over 200 posts (mainly reviews) and it was important that it was done right.

It took a lot of research, some serious brain digging and tons of hours poured over tutorials and posts by other really awesome bloggers and finally, I was able to do it – all on my own! TRB website is now live and you can visit it here: http://www.thereadingbud.com

TRB’s new logo

I’ve also redesigned the logo and header and now I feel like TRB is completely settled.

I hope you guys like the new design and the interface of the website.

Ciao ❤