THE ULTIMATE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AND SURPRISE

If you regularly follow Ashar and me, you’ve already noticed that we’ve been away for a while, like for 2 weeks, if I’m not wrong. Believe me or not, we’ve remembered posting every single day and missed writing as well. Still, the situation isn’t always the same.

They say every day is new, so here I am back writing on my desktop with my mind’s ideas. To communicate with you and share what my husband and I were up to!

Today was one of the lazy days that I’d prefer not to have around in the future. You know those days when nothing feels good, the brain is in a sleeping mode, and all our body wants is to stretch on the bed for the whole day. But this is the rare day. In the end, I cooked yummy dinner and writing as one of the kids is calmly snoring while the other just jumping around.

Not all days are the same in life, right? We had today, but we had SATURDAY as well that I ADORE entirely! You’re thinking, what was so special? Well, if you read the title, I’m telling you about my birthday celebration in this post. YAYY!!

This happened last Saturday though my birthday was on Sunday. All the credit goes to my adorable husband. Our original plan was to celebrate on Sunday, but our Sunday was a mess. In some other post, I’ll tell you what actually happened to us on Sunday that the celebration did not go as planned.

Related
A Day with a Nepalese Friend
Coping with a busy schedule…Productivity Lesson

My birthday celebration was not extravagant in terms of spending money. We invited no one on my birthday. Instead, we celebrated at home, just at 12 AM on Saturday night to Sunday morning. Just me, hubby and our son blowing candles (that we already had from before) and a home-made cake that I originally made for my son. My husband did not buy me anything but care and time. Though there was something more that I wasn’t aware of on the Saturday afternoon. Don’t worry, you’ll get to know soon; just keep reading.

A week before, my husband asked me, ‘What would you like for your birthday?’ And I’m like, ‘Nothing much, just some fine dine out.’ Obviously, I wasn’t interested in cooking the same food at home. Yes, I love cooking, and my original plan was to bake a Chicken Lasagne at home, but soon I realized that my husband and I must avoid Cheese and Fat for now.

Coming back to the gift, so he asked me to tell him something other than the food, and I go, ‘The only thing I adore is to eat out. Yes, I’m a foody’. I told him to take me to THAILAND.

What? No, don’t get me wrong! I asked him to go to ‘Thailand Restaurant,’ a unique Thai restaurant in our suburb, not overseas!

My hubby noted my request and said, ‘means I have to get something for you I won’t tell you.’ And I go, ‘But I really don’t want anything. I always get the pocket money from you and spends with my wish; why would I bother asking you something special?’. But he’s a good man. He kept what he wanted to surprise me within his mind.

On Saturday, he asked me to go somewhere I was unaware of. He lied that he needs to buy himself shoes. I’m like, ‘but why I’m going, mate!’ He did not answer. I ran up and got ready instantly. I’ve never been that prompt before!

We finally arrived at the Mall, and I asked him at the entrance, ‘Where are we going? The Adidas Store is on the right, not straight’. And he asked me to keep moving. I was quite familiar with the Shopping Centre, so I started getting a vibe of what was going on. Guess what? He was taking me to the HAIR SALON!

YAY YAY! I was waiting for the moment he reveals because I was extraordinarily happy within, but I wanted to be sure. And my guess was RIGHT!

Do you get enough time for self-care? Especially if you’re a Mom, and you take care of the family. Is it hard, right? Due to the COVID-19, I did not have hair color and trimmed done for the past 6 months from the Salon. Though I was dying my hair and trimmed at home every 2 months. But it doesn’t give as finished look as it does with a Salon Dye. So, I had foils plus hairstyling and blew dry. The whole process was so relaxing!

Gifts from the Family

For me, it does not matter how much he spent on my hair foils or whether or not he bought me a designer dress and a branded jewelery. Being his life partner, I’m most proud that he clearly understands my needs without telling him. He knew what I was planning to do for long, and he simply surprised me. This was a sweet little gesture that I could not thank him enough. But this wasn’t the only one; we still had a dine out at my favorite restaurant the next day!

To my husband: 

“I’m so proud of you. I just wanted to tell you in case no one has”.

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If you’re interested in watching our Urdu/Hindi Vlogs then head onto Youtube here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIUTj7Mmbeihj1XAsXPH9sA

A DAY WITH A NEPALESE FRIEND…

Today marked as one of the extraordinary days of my life when I can’t get enough of God’s blessings upon us. It’s not about wealth, nor is the fame. It’s not even about accomplishing targets. I don’t want to keep you overthinking or riddling, but before I tell you why I’m overjoyed, I want to tell you the background first.

So…for our Urdu/Hindi YouTube Channel, we had this in mind from way before, to throw some videos around MultiCulturalism in Australia, since our channel is mostly about the Australian lifestyle, Visas, Immigration and Travel. We were excited to start with a strong community because our subscribers and viewers may have high expectations surrounding our content. We have multiple friends from different backgrounds and corners of the world here in Sydney, the largest city in Australia. And large communities are based here for a long time. A few of those communities are Punjabis, Sikhs, Nepalese, Bangladeshi, Indians, and don’t forget, our Pakistanis

First thing first, we contacted a little over 3-4 people from different backgrounds and asked to participate in our video. The aim was to include people from diverse backgrounds and record their reaction to Pakistani food, opinions, and experiences in Australia.

That sounds like fun, Isn’t it? The plan was to record the video on a single day and throw it on the channel in parts. By this point, both my husband and I couldn’t wait for my friends to respond. 

Now, it’s already been three days, and by far, no one responded. I was nervous about whether my husband and I are fortunate enough to achieve what we want. Inevitably, people loved our idea, but the only main issue is how much a person is comfortable being a part of a YouTube Video. 

I’m quite a camera-shy. Means whenever I’m supposed to talk in front of the camera, I tend to mix up my ideas, get confused, and above all, I get anxiety. I call this behavior as ‘Camera Anxiety’ in my words. My husband is lucky not to have this problem at all. I’m insecure with how comfortable he’s on the camera often lol.

Anyhow, I’m learning as the day goes, to overcome my fear of the camera, and I hope that one day, I’ll defeat my anxiety and become more confident, enthusiastic, and entertaining in a video. 

Coming back to the participants, I can completely understand their concerns. YouTube, being a public and free platform where millions of videos are watched every single day! We believe that it requires just one video for a creator to achieve not million then thousands of subscribers and viewers, but for that, they might have to keep posting videos consistently. I’ll come to that some other day when I’ll talk about How to Grow YouTube Channel in a different post.

What if one of our community videos go viral? What if they bring endless views to our video. So, the consent of participants is a must.

After five days since contacting friends, I got one confirmation. And that was from a NEPALESE friend!!

Yass!! The first community video is going to be along with my beautiful and honest Nepalese friend, Unisha. Both my husband and I were on Cloud nine. We were excited about the recording day, and we began planning our activities, challenges, and games for the video.

As of now, we’ve recorded the video, and we’ll publish once we finish the editing.

My whole point of telling you this story is not to promote our YouTube Channel, nor to tell you how our day went, but to inspire you with the power of exploration. Today when we shot our video, both me and the hubby were extremely glad to learn a new culture, a different country, and the different personality traits of people with diverse backgrounds. My Nepalese friend told us quite a lot about Nepal, the people, and its Culture, and she shared her experience as a Nepalese Student in Australia.

Since the outlook, we looked forward to gain immense knowledge about Nepal by exploring our friend’s thoughts about Australia.

Both of us also realized how important is the diversity of our society as a whole. Learning about different backgrounds provides a great deal of flexibility and support for each other! Exploring various backgrounds opens our minds, expands our thoughts, and creates a flexibility towards our actions and beliefs. Learning a new language to creating a strong bond with our fellow countrymen is fascinating in so many ways!

I hope that my Nepalese friend learned quite a lot about Pakistani Culture. My husband and I are quite confident that the whole Pakistani and Nepalese community will be entertained after watching our video.

So my post comes to an end now. Again, I hope that my post helps you learn the importance of diversity.

“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
― Maya Angelou

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COPING WITH A BUSY SCHEDULE…PRODUCTIVITY LESSON

How do you start your day? I’m specifically asking about the first food you eat or drink in the morning. There are many options: A Glass of Water, a Coffee, a cup of Green Tea, an orange juice, or maybe a fresh fruit or an energy drink. Some of you prefer not to have anything at all until lunchtime!

But I have no choice other than having a full hot Mug of White Tea, the first thing in the morning. You know, Caffeine! According to ncl.org, the consumption of Caffeine is so widespread that 85% of the total population in the US drink at least one caffeinated beverage per day. It’s the world’s most consumed beverage. But why do people need Caffeine every day? Because this ‘pick-me-up’ beverage does wonders when it comes to coping with your tight routine and keeping on toes throughout the day. Ok, so you have to work hard in life.

Back to what I was about to tell you: me and my husband’s BUSY routine. When I say busy, that doesn’t mean I’m Whiny; I love being on toes and having tasks hour by hour. That’s something I’d advocate forever. Even if I have nothing to do at all, I’ll still keep doing something in my mind! And this may happen to you as well often.

For example, when I lost my part-time job about four months ago due to the pandemic, I told myself, ‘Now what?’ Like seriously, I had the choice to find another job for myself, and I did apply for the vacancies even when there weren’t many available due to the Lockdown. But, my caring husband advised me to take a bit of rest since I continuously worked and studied for three years with bits of annual leaves during those years.

Confused Jennifer Robertson GIF by CBC

So I set myself to routine house chores, doing extra work such as cleaning the wardrobes and cupboards more often, and cooking and baking new meals regularly. But that wasn’t enough, so I began spending more time on Facebook groups, making new friends and joining groups that I wasn’t supposed to. I won’t go in detail; the bottom line was that I was riding a bike that was too fast too dangerous because this social media addiction is something! Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. And that’s for nothing in return!

Anyhow, my husband is experienced in keeping me off from this addiction. And likewise, I give him a bunch of respect by listening and understanding him. He asked me to begin something that I admire to do that I’ve been intending for a long time and still holding.

So what was the next thing that hit my mind? It was Blogging! I’ll talk in the later posts about how I started blogging, what the motivation was, and how to start a blog and earn it by working from home.

Related: WALK OF LIFE # 1: OUR BLOGGING JOURNEY SO FAR

So I found out what was desired in my life: BLOGGING. I needed more positive and mentally easing thoughts. Something to soothe mind and soul. And writing tops the ladder. Blogging changed my perspective, my opinions and thoughts. It brought positivity in my life, and, above all, it keeps me so active throughout the day that I couldn’t think of anything negatively. Moreover, my husband took the already-busy schedule to a new level, and that was, that he started our YouTube Channel. Now that’s even more work! Thanks to Editing, Publishing, and Promoting. Recording is just the beginning.

Us preparing the video shoot

Along with all of these, another significant work is studying full-time. Studies don’t trouble me often, though a couple of times triggered anxiety! (If I overload myself with too much study time). Let me know in the comments if that ever happened to you!

Related

WALK OF LIFE # 7: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A STUDYING BLOGGER
7 BEST WAYS TO MANAGE EXAM STRESS

And if you’ve been following me ever since I blogged the first time, just as my talented WordPress friends Pooja G. and Nabeela do, you’ve known that I have two sweet kids. A two-year-old and a 7-year-old.

Every day my husband goes to the gym, exercises at home, and don’t forget, his full-time overnight job.

Related:

10 QUOTES THAT WILL MOTIVATE YOU TO LOSE WEIGHT WITH PICTURES
WALK OF LIFE # 4: MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY

And most importantly, everything has to be done by Friday, which means we keep ourselves completely off from work on the Weekends to spend quality time with our kids and other family members.

But how do my husband and I manage all this throughout the week? Do we have some magic stick, or we hang a wonder locket on our neck? No, this all comes down to just one thing: SMART PLANNING, meaning planning ahead for the upcoming week.

Is it possible to keep ourselves consistent with the plan? Well, we all can try at least! I don’t say we stick to it. We’re quite flexible to the changes and unforeseen circumstances. It happens to everyone, of course. Just as this week, my elder son had a minor injury while playing basketball at school, so we had to postpone our planned recording for our YouTube Channel on Monday since we received the phone call from his school notifying us of the incident. Later that day, we planned the alternative day to shoot the recording, which was today.

Related: WALK OF LIFE # 2: A SURPRISE LAUNCH, SON’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL

At times, the kids want more time and attention from both of us, and other days it’s different. So, it’s impossible to stick to the plan ahead of the time. The only way we’re able to make those targets is to find an alternative time to complete the same task.

A beautiful Reminder:

“The more time you spend contemplating what you should have done… you lose valuable time planning what you can and will do.” Lil Wayne, rapper

So make it your habit. If you want to get organized and you’re someone holding hectic schedules throughout the day with a ton of unfinished tasks, plan from now. Plan in your mind, and if you think you’ll mix up or forget, then get a pen and paper and stick it on the spot, you probably spend the most time at home. Complete your tasks in parts and create a variety of tasks rather than holding just one task for 8 hours! You’ll get too bored!

So that was it for today. Again, I hope that my post helped you in some way or the other.

Thank U GIF by Denyse®

Feeling lonely in the weight loss journey and want to get some motivation? Join our community of healthy and cherishing ladies on Facebook here: Pink of Health-Healthy Body, Happy Mind

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A CELEBRATION TO NEVER MISS…

Do you know how to celebrate special occasions during the lockdown? Since March this year, everything has changed due to the pandemic. Our everyday life isn’t the same anymore. We’re now getting accustomed to so many new habits and changes that we’ve never thought of before, like I’m studying online from the past six months, though I’ve never had to experience this, and online learning was a taboo for me a while ago.

EID DAY 2020

One of those changes is the way we celebrate Eid (a major Muslim festival) this year. This weekend, we were very busy with the joyful activities of Eid-ul-Azha. However, we’ve been unable to visit many people’s homes since the government is raising restrictions again in New South Wales, after the sudden rise of virus cases in the State of Victoria.

But this is Eid, the day that occurs just once in a year, and we don’t want to miss a single opportunity in making a unique and memorable day. Everything is essential, from special Eid prayers and new dresses to flavorsome food and exchanging gifts.

Eid brings back a bunch of memories from childhood. I remember back in the days when I was a teenager, I used to visit every house on my street to get a glimpse of animals they’ve got to sacrifice. The brown goats were always my favorite (they are too innocent by face) and those attractive white cows with black polka dots all over their body and a large black mark around one of the eyes. Not only were the animals the exciting stuff, but the noise of children that used to echo everywhere in town when someone brings a cow from the farm into their home. Childhood is indeed the most joyful time of everyone’s life.

So we had Eid on Saturday, just two days ago. I was both excited and fearful. It’s exciting because it’s a celebration day and a day to sacrifice for the sake of God and protect our wealth from evil eyes. But fearful because we’re trying our best to keep social distancing, and Eid is all about meeting with the loved ones.

Anyhow its all about how we manage to do certain things and adapt to certain situations. So, my husband and I decided to invite only brother and sister on the Eid day rather than inviting many other friends (we missed them so much!).

Eid day is incomplete without having a luxurious feast, which is usually to serve a beef or mutton meal to the guests. I was more interested in frying a liver for my guests. Though I had to accept that I always messed this one up, I overcook this particular dish. Share me a recipe of the beef liver in the comments, please.

After discussing for long, my husband and I decided to make a meat Lentil soup (aka Beef Haleem), especially for the Eid. Beef Haleem takes about three to four hours before it gets ready for serving. I was a little freaked out with this one too, as I’ve never made a Beef Haleem in the past (though my husband is an expert). I gave it a try, and to my surprise, everyone loved the way it was cooked in just three hours! I could see my guests licking fingers and mentioning all the good things about Haleem. I felt so relieved, so calm. But my husband did look at it as well before serving, so it was a stress reliever at the same time.

Not only Beef Haleem, but I made another famous food as well. After all, Eid is our Cheat day! Meaning, we allowed ourselves to what whatever we like, and we crave for.

BEEF HALEEM WITH GREEN GARNISHINGS

Anyway, we spent the rest of the day talking and making giggles and laughs all over. It was such a pleasant evening. The day ended with my friend’s WhatsApp call, telling me all the great activities she had throughout the day.

Life teaches a lesson everyday life is itself a great trainer. It trains us for many things that we’ve never considered learning before. As the human proceed to maturity, he trains himself in a certain way. It’s all about being able to and accepting to learn. So what I learned with trying out new meals on the Eid day is that we all have to face the fear at any stage. Coming out of a bubble is a tough work, not being able to come out of that bubble puts ourselves into more trouble anyway, because when the bubble bursts at some stage of life, we find ourselves helpless and alone. So start facing your fear from today. If you’re aware of your weakness, face it, and try to cope with it.

Here’s a reminder for all of us:

“You don’t have to be great to start, BUT you have to start to be great” –ZIG ZIGLAR

I hope this article gave you something to learn.

Thank U GIF by Denyse®

Feeling lonely in the weight loss journey and want to get some motivation? Join our community of healthy and cherishing ladies on Facebook here: Pink of Health-Healthy Body, Happy Mind

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7 TIPS FOR A “HEALTHY” MARRIED LIFE

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Are you considering getting married soon and wondering how life appears to be after that? Do you have concerns beforehand as you’re getting closer to your wedding day?

We can quite understand the anxiety you’re dealing with right now. If you read our story of How we met, you’ll better understand our thoughts when we tied knots nine years back. We were both thrilled and eager after our engagement, and we enjoyed every bit as a newlywed later. However, as the wedding day got closer, a flood of worrisome thoughts popped in mind: ‘Are we doing the right thing? Are we going to uphold each other’s habits and accept the change happily? Will our marriage last forever? And the list goes on!

Ever since we began watching Married at First Sight on channel 9now three years ago, we learned that along with the physical attraction, being compatible with each other is essential. Getting accustomed to each other’s habits and recognizing the real taste of marriage is challenging for most couples. In case you’re unaware of the show, it’s a social experiment where the relationship experts match the individuals to a stranger for matrimony. And the fun part is that the couples are matched based on their psychological study.

Couples often face confrontations and disputes, though the more frequent and intense they are, the less charming their marriage gets. It isn’t rocket science to overcome these issues through slight efforts. We’ve learned some tactics of a happy married life with our nine years of marriage, which we’re sharing with you in this post.

1. Be ready for the change

The foremost reason couples rarely get along is because they’re not ready for the shift that they’ll face after marriage. Marriage is a delightful experience when two people commit to each other. But that doesn’t mean that every other day might be a fairytale.

The most challenging time for both of us was the first year of our marriage, since we knew each other for long enough (about one year), but we were opposite personalities. We had arguments, fights, and disagreements quite often than in the later years. However, we expected these challenges and had confidence that we’ll ultimately get along to each other once we get accustomed to one another’s perspectives.

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Malden International Designs Mr. & Mrs. Album with Memo & Photo Opening Cover Photo Album, 160-4×6, White

2. Create transparent communication

Do you sometimes avoid telling your partner about something you should ideally communicate? Often it happens when you’ve done something your partner doesn’t feel comfortable doing. Understand the fact that marriage has zero space for secrecy. The more transparent you’ll be in your communication, the better you’ll get along.

We’ve been practicing transparency by :

  • Developing mutual understanding. The first step is to communicate our plans to each other. There’s absolutely nothing to hide between us.
  • We both have full access to one another’s phone accounts and passwords. It develops trust in each other.
  • We prioritize each other, our marriage and family before career, money, and friends.
  • We talk about our issues to one another before anyone else, not even the parents.

3. Trust the other partner

Trust is the critical element of your married life. Ideally, you shouldn’t have any doubts about your partner, though you may find it hard to develop instant confidence in your matrimony if you’ve faced betrayal before. Trust is earned by the time, and it doesn’t happen by itself.

A few ways we’ve been able to develop trust for each other by:

  • accepting that it’s a lifelong relationship, and without faith, it won’t last forever (which is not an ideal situation for anyone).
  • Sharing our passwords.
  • Be open about our social gatherings, friends, and family.
  • Socializing together often, keeping phrases like ‘my life,’ ‘my money,’ or ‘my friends’ at the side.

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Arpan Vintage Style 6×4” Multi 6, Aperture Picture Photo Frame Black or White (White)

4. Avoid fighting over money

Our arguments go beyond the limits when we drag finances between our fight. Talking about budgeting is healthy, but when you compare each other’s monthly income, and conveys a bitter side of wealth, your partner will surely go crazy.

Believe us or not, we’ve fought over money several times since we faced financial problems after a few years of getting married. Though we learned to keep those problems by:

  • Keeping the phrases like ‘My money,’ ‘I earn,’ ‘I have hold of money,’ or ‘I’m the one who owns property’ away between our arguments.
  • Developing similar financial expectations-it happens by open and honest communication.
  • Prioritizing our family life over money.

5. Keep technology aside

As mentioned earlier in this post, honest and transparent communication creates a strong wedlock. Though with the rapid growth of technology in the past ten years, the conversation couples often made previously has declined, especially when they’re together.

In these times of advancing, it’s a struggle to keep us away from the charm of devices when we’re sitting together and talking. Often, the mobile phone acts as a supportive bridge to hang out after an explosive argument. Though we learned that it makes situations even worse, and now we’ve been communicating better by:

  • Allotting a time when to use our mobile phone for messaging and social media.
  • Disabling the notifications popping on the display screen, especially for Facebook.
  • Keeping us busy in some constructive activity such as cooking together, house chores or gardening together, rather than just lying down on the couch.

Even if she’s hanging on the phone, she’ll keep thinking of you! Gift her a personalised mobile phone case from Amazon ‘here‘! Versatile for any occasion and looks unique.

Ling-long Personalised Marble Rose Gold Pink Grey Custom Name Phone Case for iPhone 6 7 8 Plus X XR XS 11 pro max for Samsung Galaxy S8 S9 S10-008-for Galaxy S5

6. Develop anger management skills

Screaming matches and slamming doors are always the worst approaches one can take to settle an argument. Anger is a natural emotion in humans but often interrupts the communication, transparency, trust and respect in a relationship. Managing your anger and an angry partner is a rear but incredibly helpful skill for the development of passion.

When we get involved in a heated argument, anger management is hard, but this helps:

  • Give yourself calming time, by telling the other person that you want some time apart and silent to cool down the situation a bit.
  • Avoid topics that ignite a fierce debate, anger, and complications.
  • Rule out the cause of anger and attempt to solve the underlying cause rather than fighting over words and blaming each other.

How to calm down your anger? You may be interested in reading an impressive post Here by Yari on her blog: Baskets of Motivation. Yari helps people who are trying to navigate into adulthood. She posts great content on becoming a ‘successful adult’ in her blog.

7. Make a habit to appreciate

Often couples, such as us, focus on appreciating each other’s contributions more often in the early days, to foster a healthy relationship. Sadly, we take the other person for granted after being together for a while. The feeling of underappreciated and repeatedly getting criticized creates a lack of love, passion, motivation, trust, and confidence among couples.

Marriage is a highly sensitive and gentle relationship. Just as young children oblige an appreciation after behaving well, the adults also call for encouragement to foster romance. Recognition doesn’t have to be through exchanging gifts, as you can acknowledge just by practicing gentle phrases such as ‘Thank you,’ ‘I appreciate,’ and ‘I love you for doing that.’

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Final thoughts

The relationship of marriage is like a newborn baby, gentle and sensitive. It’s a thought process and takes considerable time to develop. Though with minor efforts, you can create an involvement and engagement for one another to carry out a long-term happy married life. Comparing your bachelorhood with the post-marital experience is a senseless approach as you move towards sharing your life with the one you love. Having trust, respect, and appreciation within usually dissolves most troubles in a wedlock.

Do you think any of that advice was helpful to you? Share in the comments below.

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog post. Share as much as you can.

5 TIPS FOR A PLEASANT ONLINE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

A couple of days back, our very close friend shared with us an incident that happened to her. She was furious with her online shopping experience. She is young, and this was her second attempt to shop online. The charm of comfort attracted her buying online, but unfortunately, she wasn’t aware of the precautions before continuing to shop online. This incident prompted us to discuss the safe ways of online shopping for our readers this week.

For us, a pleasing online shopping experience is a combination of both safety and convenience. Online shopping is booming across the globe. In fact, according to WebAlive, eight out of ten Australians shopped online as of 2019. And nowadays, because of the self-isolation rules, more people are buying online as they work from home and avoids crowded places.

From online clothing and shoes to groceries, the experience is convenient for many. While for others, like our close friend, causes considerable trouble. We believe that our later generation should know about the scams and how they may prevent themselves from it.

In this blog post, we’re sharing five tips to make your next shopping experience satisfying for you.

1. Avoid bulk buying from a new retailer.

Did you ever got delivered a distinct product than the one you’ve ordered online? Or have you experienced a late delivery for a product you’ve bought on the website?

It’s common to experience issues similar issues with the online delivery. But it leaves a sour memory, and if you experience it frequently, you’ve already lost your trust in online shopping.

We’ve faced these troubles too, even with our trusted retailers, though they eventually compensated well. If you’re shopping first time with an online retailer, try to avoid shopping in bulk. Shop a single piece of each item you intend to buy and allow enough window for your deadline. Monitor the retailer’s performance, and once it gets delivered to you, check whether the product meets your expectations. Order more if you’re satisfied. At least this will prevent you from losing valuable money.

2. Check the retailer’s credibility.

We believe some of you already have a habit of checking reviews and feedback about a retailer. The existing customer’s opinion about the retailer is a reliable predictor when shopping online.

“You cannot open a book without learning something.” Confucius

Another way we often used to measure the reliability of a retailer’s service is to go through its social sites. They tell us about the reviews on specific products, the estimated number of people who know the brand, and the attachment of the brand towards the community. Means, you can get a feel of trust by looking at their social pages.

3. Avoid shopping on a public wifi.

You’re out of home and connect your device to a public wifi. While drinking the hot cup of cappuccino and swiping your social newsfeed, a mind-blowing sale of your favorite pair of shoes come across. You don’t want to miss out!

Happy Shopping GIF by Honey

If you’ve ever been a victim of fraudulent activity on your bank statement, the chances are that you may have shopped using a public wifi.

Luckily, we’ve never experienced a fraudulent activity or stolen information, probably because we rarely used open hotspots in the past (that’s what we learned); however, if you’re interested to know how this is dangerous, HERE is the guide.

4. Do not save payment information on the website.

You’re getting the convenience of pressing the ‘Save’ button for the next time because it’s annoying to bring your credit card out of your wallet every time you make a payment on a new website. But, did you know that your payment information, especially the credit card details, are highly sensitive for hackers around the web?

We’ve naturally feared the thought of keeping our payment information on different websites. And that’s why we explored safe shopping ideas, so we’re sharing an excellent method HERE. Instead of saving your card details on a website, better to secure them on your web browser. As often our devices are secured with a passcode (that’s very private for almost anyone!), we’re incredibly relieved!

5. Use a credit card only.

If you’re like us, who keeps pulling out the debit card every time making a purchase online, then you should consider changing this behavior. Why? It’s safer to use your credit card for online shopping because it’s easier to dispute the charge if it’s suspicious or if you received entirely different products against the one displayed on the site.

We’ve heard this tip to do safe online shopping from word of mouth. However, we found a detailed discussion HERE, which could be extremely helpful to you for understanding how it works.

Conclusion

In the online world, you’re no different from others if you’re leaning progressively towards the online shopping. The convenience of purchasing while you’re lying on your favorite couch is fair, and we advocate online purchasing, so you spend quality time with your loved ones rather than running after sales all over the giant shopping mall. Though with the sharing of personal information online, always remember these five ways to make online shopping experience valuable for you.

We were talking so much about the shopping in our post, so before we go, we’d like to include a funny quote we came across at Brainyquote.com.

Why would anyone steal a shopping cart? It’s like stealing a two-year-old.Erma Bombeck

Shopping Add To Cart GIF by REI

We hope you enjoyed reading our post 🙂 Share as much as you can.

We encourage you to leave your thoughts down below if you’re aware of any other ways to safe online shopping.

5 TIPS TO MANAGE YOUR EXPENSES DURING LOCKDOWN

Are you facing financial challenges due to the blight of COVID-19? You know the present-day hardships and seriousness of the situation. You’ve been stood down, your rostered hours are reduced and your business is operating at loss. You want to guard yourself and your family from financial hardship.

You’re certainly working hard to make ends meet since neither of us is born with a silver spoon in our mouth. Though it’s tough at the moment, you firmly believe that hard times are short-lived and that once this hardship is over, wealth will knock your door again.

season 4 GIF

Last month, we had various discussions within our family to figure out the most suitable approach for reducing our monthly expenditure, as we wanted to carry out the strategy to save for a rainy day. Though we aren’t the penny pinchers, and neither you, we respect the money we earn.

In this blog post, we brought together for you some tips by which we saved a little over $1000 in the month of March!

1. Avoid shopping luxury items

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

A handful of luxury items are those you never regret upon, and you adore them indeed! Though the circumstances have changed, hence you should hold off purchasing luxury items and allow space for saving a few bucks.

Last month, as we thought of shopping three items-a handbag, pair of shoes and a pair of earrings worth of $800 all-inclusive, the circumstances quickly escalated and so, our choices. Though it was a generous deal for us to buy all three items at once on a sale price, we just ended up buying shoes and saved $600 straight! (It’s quite valuable for us).

2. Delaying long-term financial commitments

Photo by rupixen.com on Unsplash

Yes, you heard it correct! It was the primary thought popped into our head. Unless you must upgrade to a new mobile phone, or moving into a new house is an absolute necessity, limiting your non-urgent financial commitments will keep your expenses minimum.

We postponed our long-pending plans of upgrading from a Sedan to luxury SUV due to the uncertain situation. We’re quite convinced to purchase the New Mazda CX 9, a luxurious car with generous boot space, perfect for our family of four to travel long road trips. 

Though our plan is yet in place, but some other time.

3. Shop for groceries, sensibly

Photo by Fikri Rasyid on Unsplash

You’re sitting pretty and comfortable since you’ve got quite enough stock to feed your family for at least the next two months. However, did you know that you could’ve saved pretty penny if you bought as needed?

Earlier when the panic-buying began, we gave stockpiling a second thought and while the toilet paper panic was in full swing, we stocked only two-weeks of groceries and a few other items as needed. Believe it or not, we saved at least $350-$400 in the last month just by shopping sensibly.

Toilet Paper Tp GIF by MOODMAN

Though you aren’t stockpiling anymore, it’s a good idea to keep checking your inventory and grab your grocery list to the store to avoid throwing random items into your cart that you often don’t eat.

To get a detailed guide on what to buy, we found an interesting article on CNBC.com HERE.

4. Choose mobile phone plans wisely

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

Did you examine the alternatives to manage your mobile phone expense yet? If not, you’re probably under the impression that changing your current plan might save you just a few cents. Frankly speaking, it’s the other way round.

Tailoring mobile phone plan for your present needs will save you a fortune. Last month, we reduced our mobile bill expense by 50%. Wondering how?

Online study and work from home caused a decline in data usage and more reliance on the Wifi connection. We switched our provider to another provider, offering the service perfectly in line with our current needs and saved $50 per month altogether, compared to the $100 each month we paid over the last couple of years! Bear in mind, though you need to do some research to find the most suitable deal for yourself.

5. Restrict restaurant delivered meals

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

We’ve been reiterating in our previous posts, that home-cooked meal maintains your weight and body composition. Did you know that you can maximise your savings by getting into the habit of home cooking?

Since the social distancing rules put in place, we’ve been cooking food more often at home. Though, we were astonished to know that home cooking saved our food expense by 60%-it’s quite generous saving and we knew that was achievable!

Here’s how: On average, a home-cooked meal cost us $20, compared to eating out the same meal for $50, saving $30 on average for every meal! And almost $120 every month.

money save GIF by Superfit Foods

The exciting part-remaining food items can be kept and stored for the next meal, consequently saving more bucks in your wallet and leaving you stress free.

Conclusion

Planning your savings is crucial to achieve money goals. With limited opportunity for you to earn extra income due to COVID-19, you can tailor your expenses to suit your needs and circumstances. By avoiding to make financial commitments, cooking at home, holding off expensive items, shopping sensibly and spending carefully on mobile plans, we successfully achieved our savings goal for the big checks when they arrive.

Do you know of the other clever ways that helped to reduce your expenses during the present time? Share your comments below.

We hope this blog was helpful to you. Thank you for reading.

10 INCREDIBLY ENGAGING ACTIVITIES YOU CAN DO WHILE SELF-ISOLATING

Stay Home Sticker by westwingde

You may have exhausted all the episodes of your favourite TV program, a season or two (on Netflix or Amazon Prime) is already completed or…. constant swiping of your social newsfeed may have suddenly got extremely uninteresting for you. These activities usually dominates your usual life, but while in quarantine, may fail to entertain you. 

About a month ago, COVID-19 forced our family to stay at home. We are studying online, kids avoid attending the school (surely to prevent themselves from the virus) and unable to visit the nearby playground. Basically, we are QUARANTINED at home! Our quite relaxing days (in the beginning) gradually turned into bored, tiring days. The worst part, our boys began to demand food like ten times in a day! (aside from the main meals) since they were feeling incredibly isolated.

We then transformed our boredom into these 10 activities that made a massive difference for us and we can’t wait to share them with you! 

1. Grow your own Garden

Whether you think of growing own vegetables in your backyard, plant fragrant florals, or merely trim the grass yourself, gardening will amuse you forever. If gardening is novel for you, tons of YouTube tutorials will help you learning. So be productive, fold your sleeves up and start digging right away! It’s both fun and adventurous. 

In fact, gardening is known to promote health benefits such as home-grown vegetables are healthier and burn calories (we surely love this to our maintain weight goals!) and strengthen your bones. Additionally, gardening may have mental benefits, relieving stress and elevating mood are few of them. Sounds great right? And if you wish to make it your hobby, remember it takes dedication that’s quite worth it!

2. Try new recipes

Tired of cooking the same meal every day? One incredible way to engage yourself in quarantine is to ditch the same, boring recipes for good. Replace the pricey takeaway foods with home-made meals. Home cooking in itself is an excellent start to a healthy lifestyle. It’s even cheaper and inexpensive way to tackle boredom, so saves for a rainy day!

Tons of creative recipes are available online to try a new Pasta (in fact viral these days) and we can bet…you must be already craving for it! 

Try our top pick site, tasty.co. We cherish their cooking tutorials since they’re both easy to understand and mouth-watering.

3. Declutter your home

Ever looked around your room and felt extremely overwhelmed by the clutter surrounding you? While you’re isolating, surely it’s a good idea to pick up all the trash out of your home. Better late than never.

We felt immensely relieved after finally decluttering our roof cabinets this March (mark it, 2020!). You can’t even imagine the amount of unnecessary stuff we got rid of. Even our backyard and garage had so much to throw away! (a broken chair is just one of them).

If you’re starting from the scratch, decluttering and re-organising could consume much time and effort. You can do this in parts, so start with the bedroom, and then proceed for the other rooms of your house each day. 

We’ve been using these garbage bags, available at Aldi stores, from 2 years and since they’re incredibly effective in holding the trash, we love to grab them every time we declutter our home.

4. Start your workout routine at home

Your fitness routine may have somewhat affected due to social distancing rules. As the gyms closed down in the beginning of March, we were quite anxious about our fitness (Us and gym are like two peas in a pod!)

Whether or not you have gym equipment at home. Either way, you can work out during self-isolation to keep yourself healthy and fit. Unpack your boxes and build your fitness routine at home. Work out or go for a solo walk, running or jogging. 

Exercising not only open up your muscles and relieve stress on your body but also will help you to maintain your weight goals and to keep your body in shape. 

5. Home Yoga

If you’re like us, who never had a chance to start a yoga routine, bring it on right away. For some of you, social distancing has indeed even effected yoga classes. 

Get the benefits of yoga while you’re self-isolating. A regular yoga routine may retain many physical and mental benefits to you. It could relieve your stress levels, maintain metabolism and increase flexibility. Regular meditation could improve your breathing and anxiety levels (they’re pretty high due to the current crisis). 

6. Build a daily skincare routine

Starting a daily skincare routine will help you get through this time while self-isolating. You’d probably stressed about losing your skin glow because you’ve missed a few facial therapies due to social distancing rules. Collect a few essential items to begin your skincare routine (facial cleanser, toner, facial scrub etc) and add it into your daily routine to keep up with the isolation. 

We regularly use Neutrogena and Garnier, since we like to stick with the products that suits our skin type, so we suggest to get to know your skin type first before deciding on a product.

7. Get closer to God

COVID-19 has certainly placed an extraordinary anxiety for all of us, and we personally believe that keeping your faith and getting to be closer to God will, undoubtedly, help you deal with the anxiety and stress.

Pretty much like us, if your incredibly occupied routines have already forced you to skip a few prayers, time has arrived to catch them now. Building a daily practice of spirituality will fortify your faith that bad times doesn’t stay around forever.

8. Get capacity back on your phone

In case you’re a bit like us and you’re so caught up with the active life, you’d have no time to chuck the waste of your emails and messages. Indeed, piles of photos in your phone and the unwanted friend’s list on Facebook has always bothered you, then the time, at last, arrived! It’s not as simple as it sounds like, as this process might take several hours. 

frustrated patton oswalt GIF

We’re pretty sure that by the end of it, you’ll not only get desirable storage on your phone, but way better efficiency of your device and a great relief. 

9. Re-arrange your room’s furniture

Well, this one is undoubtedly an interesting pick for you, after all, you’re mostly staying at home. Re-arranging furniture won’t only refresh your mind but makes it creative too. Those items you found unnecessary while decluttering your home may now fit purposeful for you. 

We were extremely bored with the way our furniture was arranged in the living room. Hence, we decided to re-arrange our living room (thanks to the renovation program on TV, we thought why not today? After all, we’ve to spend the following days staring our furniture!

So Far Thumbs Up Sticker by Sherchle

10. Build profound relationships

Last, but not the least. In fact, it is highly recommended for you to avail this time and build deeper connections through productive communication with your family members and close friends. In this crazy, hectic life, you may be missing on the precious time your family starves for. Try to bond up with the members you’re usually less connected with. 

Get connected to your kids and play with them, speak to your parents and get to know of their needs (even if you just tell them that you love them unconditionally). Your close friends, siblings and even your partner will surely be impacted with these magical moments.

All in all, we’ve made a massive difference in our new temporary life (being quarantined). Now the ball is on your court which activity you’d begin with 🙂

Can you think of an activity you consider both interesting and helpful, apart from the ones in this post? Let us know in the comments box below.