Tuesday, 27 January 2015

JLF 2015: A much needed wake up call!

This was on my bucket list and I managed to strike it off in 2015.

To attend the Jaipur Literature Festival also known as the JLF which is the largest free literature festival in the entire world was on my bucket list. Being a literature enthusiast myself, I just had to attend it.

I spent the entire night on the 23rd highlighting the sessions I would want to attend over the course of the next two days. The next morning, I found myself midst a sea of people struggling to move ahead the registration counter. The crowd was intense. There was not even an inch to spare. If you know anything about me, I hate crowds but surprisingly, I did not mind those two days. I perfectly understand why wouldn't someone want to attend this festival?

Just a glimpse of the crowd

Looking back, it was a tiring but enjoyable two days. My main purpose of attending this festival was to learn and absorb as much as I could from the authors about various topics and of course, writing. It amazes me how much these authors whom I have only heard about for the first time inspired me. I got a chance to interact with some of the authors one on one and that has been the icing on the cake. I shall post about them individually very soon.

Over the course of those two days, I realized that I have been absorbing a lot of information and hadn't got the time to self reflect on the same which I later did on the 26th when I took the entire day to self reflect and process all the information that I had been fed and it felt amazing. Now, I feel like a brand new person who is inspired to take on the world.

According to me, 

The session of the former president of India Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam was the most inspiring of all which also made me ask a lot of questions to myself. 

Cat Weatherill proved to be an amazing storyteller and I was so excited to be talking to her.

Ella Berthoud was so warm and welcoming...

...and I could probably just go on but the bottom line is, that I'm not the same person anymore who I was before JLF.

I have a personal story related to the festival this year which actually makes me feel so proud of myself. Maybe I shall narrate to you some other day. For now, I'm embracing the new me.

This was a much needed wake up call at the right time. 

The biggest two things I learned were to greet everyone with warmth and that stepping out of your comfort zone can result to amazing results.

Leaving you with some beautiful rajasthani decoration pictures at the JLF.

My next posts would consist of my interaction with the authors. Stay tuned!

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Thursday, 22 January 2015

My first Blog-O-Anniversary! *hugs*

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Did you like this idea? Shout outs to my friend Shreyash who helped me in making this in the shortest possible record time. As I have always said that a year is a milestone which enables us to look back, celebrate the achievements and reflect on our mistakes to learn and do better the next year.

This day, last year was when I published my first post called the "Riding a wild horse" and took baby steps into the world of blogging. Today after completing one whole year,  I'll take this opportunity to thank every one of you who reads my blog. It doesn't matter if you are here since the beginning of the blog or this is your first time here. I appreciate each one of you. Thank you for taking out the time to send me such thoughtful comments and emails. Nothing makes my day more than that.

While making the above newspaper styled rewind, I was filled with so many mixed emotions. I felt happy to be able to make it this far. I am grateful to have been able to meet so many amazing people across the globe through the medium of my blog. I'm excited to have been step out of my comfort zone and be able to do things that I never thought I could. I felt blessed to have people like you reading and participating in my blog actively. I felt proud to be able to achieve what I have yet in the blogging world although it reminds me that I still have miles to go before I sleep. I felt glad to see that other websites wants me to write for them.

The statistics and a short crisp summary of my blog posts have been mentioned in the rewind above, the images. If you still haven't clicked on them. Go and click now to zoom!

It's been an amazing journey so far friends! I love you all so much. One year gone, many more to go!

*hugs laptop screen*

Which is your favorite post on my blog?  Did you read my newspaper styled rewind?

Saturday, 10 January 2015

How to Achieve Inner Beauty: Everyday Makeup Tutorial

Hey lovelies,

Here is a step by step guide on how to achieve inner beauty. This is my favorite makeup tutorial of all time and I guess, you should try it once too.

Step 1:
Cleanse your face from all the negativity that you carry within yourself. You know what I'm talking about, right? Statements like "I can't do this.". "Why do people hate me?", "i'm not worth it.". Those giant pimples filled up with self-doubt, cleanse it well. A pretty mind helps for a beautiful life.

Step 2:
So before you actually put on makeup, it is very important to moisturize your face. Make sure you have the right moisturizer for your skin type. Using the wrong one can break your skin out or cause a reaction that won't go easily. You want a moisturizer that you can trust and rely on. Much like you. Doubting every decision you take? Worrying about questioning from other people? Anxiety? Only you can make the right decisions for you, so pick wisely. You need a good base for your foundation to sit on and trusting your decisions is the key.

Step 3:
Apply foundation on your face. It is very important to choose the right shade for your face or else you will look like an idiot. Many people get confused on which shade would look the best on them but they often forget that foundation is who you're. So before you try to be someone else, make sure that you look within yourself and choose the foundation wisely. It should look natural. It should be natural.

Step 4:
Dabble your eyelids with optimism. Your day will depend on what perspective you hold about the world. Now you have to make sure that you don't apply too much of it or else you would be disappointed with the high bar you just set yourself.

Step 5:
Line your eyes by being non judgmental. We judge people from the very first instant we meet them. Putting an eyeliner this way would make you stop judging people by how they look like and actually understand them whenever you see them.

Step 6:
Apply lipstick of kindness. It defines what words are you using. Are you gossiping? Are you letting out secrets? Are you being a rude brat? Using this lipstick would make sure that you don't have any creases or you might say things that you regret later.

Step 7:
Before leaving, don't forget to drizzle a scent of confidence over your head and hold it high. This is a crucial step. If you don't have confidence in you, the above things won't even matter.

So that it is. My everyday inner beauty tutorial in seven easy steps. The best thing about this tutorial is that all products I use here are free. Although I love make-up, it's not all about a pretty face. Make-up enhances your features and makes you look pretty. Beauty comes from within.

At the end of the day if you're not happy with who you're, things like how did you do your hair or make-up doesn't even matter.  

This post marks the starting of my collaboration with other bloggers and YouTubers. For this post, I collaborated with the amazing Lauren Elizabeth who shot this video on the same.

Make sure you shower her with love and appreciation as well. It was a fun experience to work with her. :)

If you want to collaborate with me next, email me at: imcapturingsunshine@gmail.com

Also read: Pretty is not always beautiful

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Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Life lessons that are relatable while cooking

I don't belong in the kitchen. Some people in the world cannot cook or simply have no interest in cooking and I'm one of them. I would rather starve myself or make instant ramen than cook something fancy for myself and wash the dishes. Do you get the point?

I hate cooking.

Wait, hate is a strong word. There are worse things than cooking.

I'll say that cooking doesn't interest me.

Talking about love and hate, I love Italian cuisine and I was craving some since the past few weeks. I'm too tired of eating in restaurants as I live away from home so I decided to cook Italian food myself last night.

I cooked an Italian meal for dinner last night.

Let that sink in.

If you follow me on Instagram and Twitter, you would have seen the updates before this post is live. Go, follow me now and send me a hi! ^.^

Here is the picture:

Check out my Instagram or Twitter profile for more pictures.

Talking about it, the food was delicious. Also as my philosopher mind never ceases to run in aimless directions, I learned quite a lot about planning, presentation while cooking and I shall share my thoughts with you.

Every head chef needs a sous chef:

I wouldn't be able to manage it all alone. I was glad that I had my mother who helped me out while I learned some of her tips and tricks along the way. Similarly in life, you should be independent enough to work alone if the situation arises but also you should learn to appreciate the people who stood beside and helped you in your journey so far.

Keep tasting all the way:

(Read the next paragraph in Gordon Ramsay Voice)

Never underestimate the power of tasting as you cook. It tells us where the dish lacks so that we could  balance the flavors together. In life, we need to stop at certain intervals, look back, analyze ourselves, make adjustments and move on.

Prep work is important:

If you keep on waiting till the last minute to do everything, you have already lost half of the battle. Take your time. Do your research. Make a strategy and move accordingly. You will be amazed to see how much time you save only because you made a plan before hand.

Sharing is caring:

I'm the kind of person who CANNOT eat alone. I'm sure mostly of us can't. It feels great to share the bounty with the one you love. Sharing is caring. Invite people and show them what hospitality is. Life is too short to live with grudges. Food would taste much sweeter if you're with your people.

Who could have thought you could find life lessons in cooking?

Do you agree or don't you? Do you have any other life lesson that one could relate to while cooking? Let me know in the comment section below.

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Thursday, 1 January 2015

A new year, a new YOU! Welcoming 2015 :)


The first day of the year. Today marks the starting of a new day, new year, new memories, new heartbreaks, new people and a new YOU. It scares me how fast time flies. I swear, it feels like a week when I celebrated the beginning of the last year.

"Bad news is time flies, good news is you are the pilot."
I'm sure that we all would agree on the fact that not all of our days in the past year had been the same. There were times when we resided on cloud 9 and then there were also times when we came crashing back to the ground. Those were the times that revealed the type of person we are while giving us memories and lessons for a lifetime....

...but you made it to a new year full of surprises for you to unfold. Congratulations!

My favorite thing about the new year is that it provides us a brand new opportunity for a fresh start, a magical sense of renewal. It is the day when we gather all our courage and tell ourselves that this would be "our" year and that we should start doing the things we love and stop doing the things we don't. It gives a chance to eliminate negativity by forgetting about the past and start afresh.

This is the reason we tell ourselves that the best is yet to come.

I have never believed in new year resolutions until now. I guess because I never felt that I was enough self-motivated throughout the year but this proves to be one of my weakness, isn't it? Hence I'm making a list of resolutions for the upcoming year and I'm sure to achieve them.

Do you also don't make new year resolutions because you think you shall give up easily? Give it a try and you might just surprise yourself. To warm you up, here are five things that should be on your list.

Open the links and you might just get inspired ;)

1. Spend more time with people offline than online

We get caught up in the digital web so often that we have forgotten the art of calling or meeting people anymore. You wish your friend a happy birthday on Facebook, flirt on whatsapp or meet potential partners on Tinder. Are emoticons really replacing emotions?

2. Live in the present

We humans are weird. We tend to search and look for things that makes us rethink everything about life and then lose our moment of happiness. One such reason is longing for the past or being afraid of the future. We have quite forgotten how to live in the present without letting our mind drift off to an another time frame. 

If you aren't living in the present, you're living an illusion.

3. Do not live a mediocre life

Are you living a mediocre life? We are born to strive for excellence and you my dear friend, has the power to control everything that you want including your own life. So stop being mediocre and start attracting greatness.

4. Be a dreamer as well as a do-er

Well now since you have realized how much you can achieve, dream BIG but also work hard. Dreams wont come true unless you work. It is the hard work that make things happen. It is the hard work that brings the change.

5. Learn life lessons DAILY

Everyday life teaches us something. All we need is to pay heed to those tiny details in the moments. Life teaches us in the most unexpected ways possible when you least expect it. Ask yourself everyday, "What have I learned today?" and you would see a difference in your mindset already. This is nothing but a different approach of gratitude and reflecting the day.

You have a chance to start it differently. Although I don't believe that you need a new year to start making changes in yourselves and the world around you, it does give you a landmark to start working on. Take this chance and see the world around you change :)

I won't wish you a happy new year because no one can guarantee you that the next 365 days of your life would be happy. There would be highs and there would be lows. I would say live the new year and make it so much better than the previous year.

Being consistent on my blog is on the top most priority on my new year resolution list. What is yours? Let me know on the comment section below.

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