WALK OF LIFE # 5: OUR SON’S BIRTHDAY

Do you know that as parents, you’re likely to be the most significant influencer in your child’s life? Kids demand time, love, affection, and uninterrupted attention from their parents, and when they lack that attention, they can lose self-confidence and social interaction in the long run.

Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children,”. Charles R. Swindoll

As parents, we’re responsible for our children’s training and teaching. We believe that we’re quite successful in doing that. Within our over-occupied schedule, we regularly attempt to make our kids feel special and loved. However, there are rare times when we feel guilty of neglecting our kids, too, such as during exams or with additional home/work consignments.

Children demands attention in routine days, and when it’s their birthday, their urge for our time rises even more! Our son hoped to visit the Taronga Zoo on his birthday since last year, right after returning from the opulent tour of GoldCoast. Though we’ve seen other zoos all around Sydney, visiting Taronga Zoo is still on our travel wish list.

You may have heard about the famous Taronga Zoo before. It’s the largest zoo in Australia and is located at a height, offering breathtaking views of the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge at its highest point. We can imagine the splendid sights already, even without visiting.

Though sadly, we haven’t been lucky enough to make a trip to Taronga Zoo yet, because of the lockdown situation. The zoo is closed until further notice, so we’re waiting till it opens again. But since our son’s big day was arriving this week, we’ve chosen to make a mouth-watering, home-made Mud cake for him for the first time! (Our sons can go nuts for a mud cake!). A minor effort to make him feel special on his birthday.

The delicious, double-chocolate layer Mud Cake. Made by Mummy and Daddy.

Our younger son, Ayaan, turned seven this month! It’s so exciting for us to see him grow and developing maturity as the years pass by. Our son is an intelligent and talented, 1st-grade student. He’s working to building his channel ‘Ayaan’s Fun World‘ on YouTube. Please read the full story of initiating his YouTube channel Here.

We made the Double-chocolate layer mud cake with Green’s Cake Mix‘ in Chocolate Mud (we’ll review the cake in our upcoming posts). We celebrated his birthday at home, keeping the social distancing rules in mind. 

We’re pleased to see that our son enjoyed mixing, decorating and serving the cake, specially made for him by his Mum and Dad! He was full of the joys of spring. He showed his gratitude later in the night.

Cupcakes by Ayaan’s Aunt

Final words

As parents, there should be no excuse to neglect our kids even in the lockdown. What’s the big deal? If we can’t take them to the outdoors, park, play area, attractions or for sports. What matters most for your kids is your time, attention, care, involvement, and communication. Expressing your prudence by simple things such as cooking their favourite food, playing a board game, or watching their favourite movie, can be a real game-changer for your journey of parenting.

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7 TIPS FOR A “HEALTHY” MARRIED LIFE

This post contains affiliate links, so as an Amazon Associate we get a small commission from qualifying purchases (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided that are signaled with ‘.

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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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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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.

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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.

WALK OF LIFE # 4: MY WEIGHT LOSS JOURNEY

Those who do not find time for exercise will have to find time for illness.”  Edward Smith-Stanley  

Hi there, I’m Ashar, father of two boys and a fitness freak. Ever since I lost 121 pounds, I’m tremendously attentive towards my weight, diet, and fitness. I want to share my weight loss journey with you through this blog to drive you for a healthier living. Here’s my story:

You’ve probably read my bio there and wondering, “If that figure is even real?” I know why you’re thinking this way, because, with that amount of weight, someone would look like this:

Now look back at my bio image. You’re correct if you’re thinking, “Well, the bio-picture is filtered.” Yes! It’s brightened enough to post here, though quite frankly, the filter didn’t cut the fat on my cheeks, chins, neck, and body. Otherwise, I’d be the happiest person in this world.
I was overweight since I was a child, and I used to weigh 298 pounds (135 kgs) two years back. I’m not even joking!

Watch this video to get to know how to maintain your weight by just staying at home.

Weight transformation 2014 vs 2018

I was blessed with love…

I was bulky back in my teenage, though I was an active, lively, and energetic personality. I traveled often, and I loved eating. I got genuine love from my parents, siblings, and cousins, and I had generous friends.

I was ambitious…

Like several youngsters, I was an ambitious guy, and I worked with a major firm in my home country where many dreams to get employed. Though I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I strived to get that dream job as life is all about hardships. I studied my postgraduate course at the same time I was working since I was 16.

My dream marriage…

In the late 20s, I was lucky enough to marry the girl with a heart of gold, Sana. Her family gave me an abundance of love and respect, and with the blessings of Almighty, I became the father of two adorable children. Not to forget that I even traveled to Australia and thoroughly explored it. I was on cloud nine.

On the whole, I had everything that I could ask for (and still have), and sometimes I feel like I’m living in a fantasy world. Though, I always felt bothered and distressed.

I was suffering…

I imagine you’re probably thinking about why I was suffering this entire time. I’ll come to that in a while, but first, I want to ask you: “Can you remind of something that ever triggered you to adopt a good habit?” Well, I can undoubtedly recall the incidents that prompted my weight loss journey, which I’ll tell you later; otherwise, this post will never end.

So, I was stressed out because I was Obese. I lacked confidence because I was chubby. I couldn’t do skydiving because I was overweight.

Weight transformation 2016 vs 2020

My Goal

By this point, you’re thinking of why am I telling you about my journey? Because I want to create value for your health, your life, and your well-being. I want to motivate you for better and even happier you!

I’ve been able to shed 55 kgs of fat along with a full-time job and kids. So why can’t you?
In the later posts, I’ll share my experience, tips, and tricks for losing weight, maintaining your body and adapting to a healthy lifestyle. You can check some tips we’ve shared a while ago, to stay healthy Here.

Leave a comment below if you relate to my story and share it as much as you can.

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7 TIPS FOR MOMS TO STUDY WHILE RAISING KIDS

Considering going back to uni, but worried about studying with kids?

Hi, I’m Sana, a full-time student and a mum of two. I started studying in 2012 and graduated 3 years ago. With the support of my husband and his family, I’m currently studying a postgraduate course. Here’s my journey as a student.

This post contains affiliate links, so as an Amazon Associate, we get a small commission from qualifying purchases (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided that are signaled with ‘.

Let’s set the scene. You’re a stay at home full-time mum, and you love what you do. You’re fulfilling all your responsibilities towards raising your kids. Whether you’re thinking of enrolling in a course or you’re a returning student after pregnancy and birth, it’s like a fantasy to start your education, isn’t it?

As a mom, you have a few options, such as if you ask your husband to help with house chores, or you can choose to study part-time. But again, studies can be occasionally overwhelming.

I certainly understand what you’re more worried about: Studying with kids! ‘How can I concentrate on studying while the toddlers are around? Will I fail to balance between my responsibilities towards my children and study? How will I cope up with other chores and family commitments during assessments?’. These are the concerns you often have.

Hey Mom! Don’t worry at all. In this blog post, I’m sharing how I’ve been able to balance between studies and kids from the last 8 years!

1. Schedule your study time

I used to leave study time until the end of the day, in the hope of kids falling asleep at night. But it was impossible to make it a reality because after a long tiring day of house chores and job, I had no more energy left to focus on the assignments.

Then, I hung a day planner on the fridge door. Since then, I’ve been able to manage my study time within house chores as I get reminded of my day plans every time I use the fridge (Must be at least 100 times a day!)

This simple planner sheet I found on Nurse Clara’s Blog has been beneficial. Just write your tasks for each day, and tick whatever is completed. Ticking all the boxes provides a sense of accomplishment in general. You can also schedule your study time around your kid’s napping time. Find more ideas HERE.

Taken from Nurse-clara.com

Get a daily planner from Amazon:

2. Study small portions

You’ve got a written organizer on the wall to remind you of everyday tasks, but remember, you need to plan it wisely. If you believe in studying all at once, consider changing this habit. Because it’s impossible to study for long hours when you’re a mum.

Formerly, I often set a specific day to study all four subjects. It was stressful, as I was continually running out of time to prepare for the assessments. Later, another mum in my college (now my best friend!) advised me to divide my week into shorter chunks of study rather than piling all tasks for one day.

Graduation ceremony 2017

I then achieved my study targets, and I felt prepared for the assessments way before they’re due, without rushing for time.

3. Avoid longer travel time from home

As a mum, you have limited time to study. When you study on campus, you’re leaving behind plenty of tasks at home, including your toddler’s nappy change! If you’re considering enrolling in a new program at a university, your best bet is to search in your local area.

If you can’t find a preferred program around your residence, try to get as closest as possible to your area.

Shorter distance to commute between home and college saved heaps of my time. Such as it used to take 50 minutes from my former suburb to the city on a public train. It was such a waste of time! But instead of changing the college, we moved suburbs. The present house just takes 20 minutes total travel time. It was an utter relief, as I had the opportunity to spend more productive time with my family.

4. Be attentive during the lecture

I absolutely understand that the thoughts of your kids and home often don’t leave you alone when you’re away from them. Though you shouldn’t, you still feel guilty.

Trust me in my experience, if you focus on the lecture and actively participate in the class activities you’ve already prepared half-way for your next test. I adapted this strategy since I began studying.

You can prepare notes if you have gaps between the classes, search resources in the library, and brainstorm for the upcoming assignment. If you add up all, you’ll actually save multiple hours on studying at home, which in turn allows you to rest and brings the opportunity to spend quality time with kids.

5. Schedule shorter classes

On-campus study has its own drawbacks, including when you leave your kids behind at home. But you can still find the right balance between your tasks if you choose shorter classes. You can do this by dividing various lectures on different days.

Let me explain this further: A few semesters back, I selected two, 4 hour-classes for 2 days in a row, considering that I’d save money on public transportation. But quite frankly, I made a significant mistake, as I was away from kids for 8 hours straight! In the later trimester, I selected 4 lectures on separate days. With all honesty, I was better able to stabilize time around my responsibilities, as I was spending longer hours at home each day.

6. Keep the study pressure low

You were a high achiever of your school, you’re a strong competitor, and you study hard. But when you’re a mommy of young ones, the circumstances are entirely different.

As a mother raising a toddler and a 7-year-old, I find it especially tough to compete for high grades. A few years back, I continued to feel pressured to excel for a couple of trimesters, excessively craved for high grades, and urged to beat the competition in the classroom.

But one day, my husband felt that I was off balance between personal commitments and my study time. He saw me getting anxious, frustrated, and disrupted by kids. Of course, it was unhealthy to remain like this in the long run.

I followed my husband’s advice to stop fretting about grades and instead to just focus on what I’m achieving in the long run while balancing the study and personal life. His advice works really well, and since then, I’m learning to gain knowledge and understanding of the subject. I often feel eased, and I plan my study structure meaningfully.

7. Don’t wait until the deadline

Quite often, your lecturers and tutors have asked you to complete your assignments way before the deadline to ensure you don’t miss the due date. But right now, I’m advising you this as a mother and a homemaker.

Of course, you have to fulfill responsibilities round the clock, so you’ll leave the assessments for the last minute. Quite confidently, you’ll feel rushed, panicked, and upset as the due date will get closer.

Last year in April, I was busy socializing too much that I was leaving my assignments till the due date. It was pretty hard to catch up on all the unfinished work, along with caring for kids.

All in all, I don’t want you to get in the same sort of situation as mine. Plan ahead for your assignment and complete bits over the week. Specify a day for research & sourcing, and write at least a paragraph or two each day.

Final thoughts

Balancing your personal and study life is tough. You need planning, hard work, and the support from the loved ones to achieve your goal. As long as you’re willing to take risks and grab opportunities for learning that arises by the time, be confident you’ll gain what you dreamt of.

We hope these 7 tips will be helpful to you in this journey, and it creates value for your time.

In the end, I’d like to share a quote for all parents out there:

“Raising children is a creative endeavor, an art rather than a science.”

Bruno Bettelheim

Thank you for reading. We’d love to learn your thoughts on this post in the comments box below.

WALK OF LIFE # 3: HOW WE MET

Last Sunday, just after we ate our evening snacks, we comfortably lied on the couch and watching an entertaining Pakistani TV show. At the same time, the song ‘Hona Tha Pyar’ (‘There had to be love’ in English), from the movie ‘Bol’ (meaning ‘Speak up’) came across that delighted us!

We met 9 years ago, now happily married with 2 adorable kids. In today’s Walk of Life, we’re sharing our story to you, of how we first met each other. Want to know more of our journey? We’ll share our tips for a healthy relationship in the upcoming blog on Wednesday.

Bringing back memories

We imagine you’re trying to figure out “Why are we telling you about the song in the beginning of this post?” We’ll answer that shortly, but first answer this: Have you ever listened to a song or watched a film, even an old TV show that took you back in the good old days?

This song did precisely the same thing to us.

We later watched our wedding video once again. It’s enchanting and beautiful. It brought back tons of memories when back in the days we used to be younger, vibrant and carefree (though we still are!).

Looking different? Yes, we lost 55 kgs recently. Coming up in detail soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Yes! The couple posing in that picture is us on the day of engagement ceremony! Do we look different back then? The truth is that since the past couple of years, we worked days and nights to make the ends meet but at the same time, made immense effort to groom ourselves, personal growth and development.

Love at first sight

Do you believe in love at first sight? When you meet someone at first, you could get attracted instantly, and you probably see a potential to fall for that soul. Your heart and mind speak your feelings. But hold on! That didn’t happen to us straightaway. In fact, our feelings grew by time, as we were getting to know one another.

We met through parents

Our story was pretty straight. Our marriage was arranged by our parents. If we don’t have someone else already in mind, part of our convention is that the parents jump in and choose the prospective spouse for us. It’s even favorable for them.

Meeting one another for the first time at our parents’ home was an entirely unique experience for us. Our parents were distant relatives to each other. Both families accepted each other, but now it was our time for further communication to understand each other.

โ€˜YES!โ€™ We said to each other, and we got engaged just after one week, in October 2010. Our engagement lasted about a year, which was enough time for both of us to get along, especially as we first met only a week ago. We later got married in November 2011.

Best part

We met over 9 years ago and together since then, we’re still learning about each other. And the more we discover, the better we communicate. To be honest, exploring each other’s passions, dreams, and personality is the most exciting part of a marriage.

We hope you enjoyed reading our “Walk of Life” post today.

Don’t forget to learn keys for a joyful marriage in our blog on Wednesday.

Leave a comment if you can relate our story to yourself ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

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

Last week was full of initiatives for us. Yes, you read it correctly, an initiative with ‘s’. Though we’d like to keep our other plans secret, for now, we promise they won’t remain suspense for much longer. We have heaps to share with you in our upcoming posts that we can’t wait to reveal!

As you’re aware that we started blogging a month ago, and undoubtedly we’re learning and flooding with new information every day! Read our experience blogging to find out more.

We’ve been keeping ourselves occupied while lockdown at least to prevent ourselves from oversleeping, fatigue, and anxiety. But above all, we’re shaping our long-pending projects. One of those was to publish our son’s playful activities on YouTube.

BACKGROUND

A couple of years back, our son, Ayaan, asked us: “Mom, Dad! It’s great to see Ryan every day, and I enjoy watching him so much! Please make my video today”. Ryan, a YouTube star kid who plays along with his family, play with the toys, and publishes a video each day on his channel ‘Ryan’s World’. He inspired Ayaan. That’s when we realized his feelings, and soon after that, we started filming his videos.

THE TWIST

Though, it took a while to start the channel officially. Because he was anxious at the beginning, we felt that he was fearful because he was shy. He was afraid of being watched by many, other than just the immediate family. As parents, we could ultimately make sense of it, although he needed to confront his nervousness. Because he could be successful in life only if he masters to challenge his fear.

OVERCOMING FEAR

Soon we learned that despite getting nervous, Ayaan didn’t ask to turn off the camera (thank God!). Oh, boy! He enjoyed the filming experience! And what’s even more exciting? He felt confident and even more motivated for his next video shoot. Now, we publish his video every Monday on his channel ‘Ayaan’s Fun World.’ on YouTube. Watch his latest videos:

OUR THOUGHTS

To make a long story short, we’re sharing our thoughts with you in this post because we’ve successfully overcome his fear of facing a camera. We’re hopeful, we’re happy, and we’re thrilled with experimenting. We’ve been able to manage our kidsโ€™ fears in various other ways that we’ll share with you sometime.

We hope you enjoyed reading this post.

Let us know in the comments box, how do you manage your child’s fear of anything?

5 TIPS TO TRAVEL WITH A LOW BUDGET

Do you often daydream about travelling and discovering far lands? Or have you been thinking of a life-changing adventure from a long time but your bank balance haunts you and straight away your mind says, ‘Nah, just forget about this!’

For a bit, carrying limited budget hindered us from discovering this fascinating planet. We admire travelling and exploring new places. We love experiencing unique cultures and road trips. We travelled to Naran Kaghan Valley, Islamabad, Lahore and Murree in Pakistan. Further along, we explored Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra in Australia.

Here’s how last year this family of four travelled from Sydney to Melbourne in a little over $900!

1. Plan your trip in advance

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Travelling on a budget can’t happen swiftly, though planning before-hand is the way to enjoy fully! With lack of a plan, you’ll end up wasting time and money after you reach your destination.

We’ve been travelling with a controlled budget from a while since the foremost work we do is to grab a pen, notebook and MacBook.

First, we decide where we should go. Since we travel with the kids, we plan our trip accordingly. Depending on attractions, the next step is to figure out the number of days we plan to stay. Given our budget, usually, a three to four-day domestic trip is enough for us to cover most attractions in the city. Here is a guide which we often used before travelling and is both genius and helpful.

2. Look for different airport options

Photo by Pascal Meier on Unsplash

Wondering what does mixing and matching the airports mean? Let us explain you.

After planning our trip to Melbourne last year, we looked at the then-current flight rates. It annoyed us after figuring out that the prices were touching the skies, and while we discovered the total travel time by car from Avalon Airport to Melbourne is just 40 minutes. We arrived at Avalon, rented a car there and saved over 50% on flight tickets alone. Crazy fact!

3. Book the accommodation wisely

Did you know that lodging often holds a major part of the expense in your trip? When you’re planning to travel with a small budget, finding the cheapest accommodation without compromising on the hotel services is the best bet for you.

For example, we found cheaper deals by booking our hotel on a weekday instead of a weekend. We’re not sure of the reason behind this difference, though it always happened with us. And we observed that the hotel rates are most expensive on a Sunday.

For our trip to Geelong (nearby Melbourne), we booked Airbnb for the first time. Initially, we were slightly hesitant, though we had an amazing experience at our host’s accommodation. The house was tidy, and all the services we asked for were present in the accommodation. As a first-time customer, the most satisfying part was receiving a 50% off from Airbnb.

4. Explore latest deals

Another generous way to travel with limited bank balance is to explore the present deals. There are various websites where you can quickly find impressive deals for many attractions, hotels and accommodations, though we’ll recommend you a few we’ve experienced so far.

We saved over 50% on the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel since we bought the tickets through ‘Experience Oz‘. Undoubtedly, their customer service was excellent, clear and concise, and the whole process from payment to delivery was hassle-free. ‘Groupon’ is another great app to find cheap deals, as we booked The Wheel of Brisbane through this site. You can find more deals Here.

Similarly, we booked Sea World Resort in Gold Coast through Booking.com. The deal involved 4 theme parks, resort accommodation and breakfast. We saved over 50% on this deal compared to the actual price.

5. Get hotel breakfast buffet

Photo by Amanda Lins on Unsplash

Ever thought how inexpensive it would be to get a breakfast buffet rather than having one outside? We’re sure there’s nothing fancier for you than getting ready for an unlimited breakfast buffet!

If you’re travelling with family or friends, getting a breakfast buffet will add value to your trip. We experienced both, since in Melbourne we didn’t grab the breakfast buffet deal at the hotel we stayed, and ended up spending big bucks on different snacks to fill our tummy for the rest of the day!

In contrast, our morning breakfast buffet in Sea World Resort Gold Coast was super tempting and fine. We’d feel full and satisfied for the rest of the day after having one. It surely added value to our trip.

Final thoughts

A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together is reality.”

John Lennon

So, you shouldn’t hold your dreams to live a life-changing experience and plan from now. The earlier you book for a trip, the better and cheaper deals you’ll get. Choose your destination according to your budget and follow our valuable tips to endure your travel dream.

We hope that our blog post was helpful to you.

Leave a comment if you find our blog interesting and share as much as you can!

WALK OF LIFE # 1: OUR BLOGGING JOURNEY SO FAR

As it has been almost 3 weeks since we published our first blog, we thought there’s no better time to update you on our experience with the blogging so far. After the exact 6 days from today, we’ll celebrate our 1-month anniversary blogging! We’re so pleased to make it till here, we’re blooming!

We were afraid

The idea of starting a blog was somehow intimidating to us, especially the view of sharing our life to you and many! Although we didn’t select this move right away, and to be honest with you, it took incredible effort and dozens of hours on researching the questions in our mind: ‘What should we talk about and for what reason? Is it going to be helpful in any way?’

We were doubtful

At first, we were uncertain whether anyone’s going to relate itself or not, or if many people care about what we’re writing. We kept dwelling for many hours and we reviewed our thoughts often, though the other side of us was passionate about writing, sharing and communicating. Let us tell you our little personality trait: We’re ‘optimistic souls’. So, in the end (though it was the beginning, you know!), we thought: ‘Really! do we care? Isn’t that natural for us? Nah forget all the fearful thoughts and let’s begin what we desire! Hence, putting all the anxiety aside we finally stepped up.

We’re working hard

While you get to see the reflection of our life every week, we’ve been putting enormous effort every day into our blog to give it a great shape. No pain, no gain!

We’re learning

Blogging is a journey, a learning process we must say! Every day, we do heaps of research, we get to understand the needs of individuals to learn about our niche. We already knew what we want to address, yet we were unaware of a specific niche. Considering we were going to talk about topics like lifestyle, health & fitness, wellness, travel & tourism, parenting, homemaking, family, self-care, even our hobbies, foods and beauty, on our blog. We called it ‘lifestyle blog’. Special thanks to Erin Gobler‘s helpful post that cleared our doubts.

So this is our journey so far. I hope you stay safe, take care and lots of love ๐Ÿ™‚

5 TIPS ON HOW TO TEACH SELF-DISCIPLINE TO YOUR CHILD

Did you notice a gradual shift in the behaviour of your child lately? Ever wondered the reason you’re being spoken about your kid’s behaviour in every parent-teacher meeting?

Do you know the difference between controlling your child and teaching them to learn self-discipline?

Educating our kids about self-discipline was discussed pretty often between both of us. It has been a focal point since the birth of our elder son, almost 7 years ago.

As working parents, both of us wanted our kids to learn self-discipline and anger management skills at an early age so that we don’t face much trouble later in life.

With our little knowledge and some exploration, our elder son learned to make healthy choices, self-discipline, patience, pressure management, self-care and manners.

Saif and Ayaan, our two adorable sons

In this blog post, we’re sharing 5 clever tips by which our elder son has become the star of his school and our family.

1. Establish a daily routine

Photo by Estรฉe Janssens on Unsplash

You’re a busy parent and certainly trying to balance between work & home, your health and between your kids. So, how would you make an effective home routine for your kids to follow each day?

Planning and organising your child’s daily routine isn’t a fairy tale, though it requires three main elements: planning, effort and consistency.

Though we often didn’t reiterate the household rules since we had already set up a day and evening routine for our kids. Sticking a day to night schedule on the ‘fridge door’ has been incredibly effective in sticking us and our kids with the planned routine.

Ayaan having entertainment

This exercise created a feeling of target-achievement, pressure-handling and responsibility in our elder son. Additionally, we noticed that he became happier, more creative and more talkative.

2. Limit screen time

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

It’s not a rocket science to understand the fact that today’s generation is a digital zombie.

It’s healthy in a way if they’re learning about digital devices as a subject or they’re studying online (essential). Though we believe that going beyond those limitations could potentially turn around their behaviour, making it even harder to teach self-discipline.

We learned a few years ago that both our children show tantrums and disobeying tactics to get the devices back in their hands.

Saif doing playful activity

Since we’ve been setting and reiterating the limits on screen time almost every day, our children involve themselves in productive, creative and learning activities. Though it’s a gradual process and we do get hiccups, yet we’re consistently training.

3. Communicate the reason behind rules

We often seen parents setting the rules at home without adhering the cause of its establishment with their kids. We ask them a simple question of whether an adult would follow the rules regardless of the background?

We’ve been trained the same way, consequently, went through huge problems soon after our elder son turned into a toddler, as he won’t follow what both of us instructed him.

Not long after, we started stating the cause of the ruling, such as stating ‘You should complete your homework today because it’s due tomorrow and your teacher will be upset if you don’t complete one’ rather than saying ‘Do your homework because I’m telling you’.

It appeared much easier to understand the cause of our instruction for him.

4. Compliment and reward good behaviour

Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Since your child is following a guideline set by you and understands the reason behind a limitation, you should move a step further and encourage them to repeat the same behaviour.

We believe that offering reward varies within age groups. For example, our toddler (younger son) sees the bottle of milk and a pack of chocolate as a reward while the junior gets encouraged if we offer him a 30 min session on his Xbox or take him to the Mcdonald’s.

Saif enjoys outside home

Praising and rewarding our children makes them feel good about themselves and motivate them to repeat their action.

5. Communicate effectively

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, your time and attention matters to them as it raises their confidence, self-esteem and communication skills.

Due to our overly burdened and occupied life, we never had a chance to peacefully sit with our elder son to speak about his day, school and his friends.

We’d think that he’s a shy individual though he was a chatterbox! And interestingly, we learned this trait a few days after his 3rd birthday since we took one week off from work and stayed at home.

Our son felt respected, proud and developed more self-disciplinary behaviour. He showed greater patience level and developed excellent hearing skills.

Conclusion: Be Patient

Building and teaching self-discipline skills will take plenty of effort, commitment, consistency, attention and above all, patience. Ticking all the boxes to make them a responsible adult is not a piece of cake though consistency is the only key. In this blog post, we’ve revealed the ways that brought positivity in our son’s life and shaped him as a responsible person.

We hope it helped you in some way.

Can you tell us of a helpful tip to build a healthy parent-child bond? Let us know in the comments below.