7 Steps for a happier you this Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day is here, and many people are still wondering what the hype and hoopla is all about.If you think Valentine’s Day is largely associated with teenagers, think again! We have 7 ways for you to think outside the chocolate box and show a little love to the most important person in your life- YOU! The most important part of this exercise is that you make it last long past when the red-and-white heart decorations have been packed away.

  1. Think about your daily life- Evaluate what really makes you feel good. Instead of forcing yourself into things that you don’t really enjoy, do more of the things that make you feel good. If you don’t enjoy your job, work out on an exit plan. There is no reason why you should continue to force yourself into the things that don’t make you happy.
  2. Cut your To –Do List by half-Look at your to-do list, is it pages long? Does it make you feel good or you constantly lose your cool over it? Take a long, hard look at your list,fold it into half. and then tear the list at the middle line. Prioritise one half and then prirotise other, pare it down by 50%. Focus only on have-tos and want-tos instead of things you have on there just because you should. When your list feels manageable, you’ll feel more energized to tackle it.
  3. Pampering is part of your routine- Pamper yourself on a regular basis. Your Hair appointment, mani,pedi are not a luxury, they are a necessity! There is nothing wrong with taking the time to take care of yourself on a regular basis, whether that means a bi-monthly massage appointment or working in the time for a long, hot bubble bath several nights a week. Feeling good shouldn’t be a “treat”—it should be a part of your everyday life.
  4. Weed out people- Too often, we get ourselves tangled into people and their lives which are not really contributing anything enriching to our own life.Distance those obnoxious influences who make you feel bad, even if its family. If you can’t, teach yourself ways in which you would avoid getting affected with what they say or do.Toxic relationships can be a huge barrier to your happiness Do yourself a favor and start investing your time with the people who make you feel good and make your life better.
  5. Raise your voice, and be confident about it- You have really worked hard like every other person. You are experienced and have your own qualities that stand you apart from others.When you aren’t true to yourself and your opinions, it feels bad. You feel disingenuous and dishonest. It is perfectly okay to have your own opinions—in fact, that’s what makes each of us so great! The best thing you can do for yourself is to own those opinions proudly. They may not always be popular, but they are a part of who you are—and those in your life who love and respect you will be okay with that.
  6. Be your own Queen- If you are constantly letting others in your life make the decisions, its time to stop. Quit deferring to others to make them happy. Stand up for the things you want and speak up for yourself. Tonight , you decide whats cooking for dinner.Watch the movie that you want to watch.It is great to compromise some of the time, but when you are constantly putting your own wants and needs aside for the sake of others, you will be unhappy and dissatisfied in the long run.Learn a new skill, join a support group that cares for you, start a new venture, anything that gives you happiness!
  7. Hug and love yourself-  Mark some one-on-one time for yourself. Set a date and day when you will go out and do things you always wanted to do. Spending some me time, doing things that you enjoy is a great way to recharge your batteries.

Investing in your relationship with yourself is just as important as investing in the relationships you have with others—you’ll be able to come back to those relationships happier and recharged.Make loving yourself a year-round commitment, not just an effort you make only on special occasions. You’ll find yourself happier, healthier, and more fulfilled the whole year through.

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The one must-do thing this Valentine’s day

Valentine’s day has arrived. Spring is in the air, and women who are too busy to notice what’s going around outside of their daily routine are also looking for something red to wear in their wardrobes.

As February 14th arrives, so does the long list of expectations that comes along with it. If you are one half of a couple, it’s crunch time to place flower orders and make reservations. If you haven’t, then you may be dreading February 15th. But what if this year you choose to do things a little differently?

The newspapers and magazines, even internet is over flowing with pieces about Valentine’s Day and love and respect etc etc. According to website Trak.in, Indians spent a whopping 18000 crores on gifts on Valentines day in 2014.The figure is likely to get tripled this year.

What if, when you make your list of valentines, you include yourself this time? Showing yourself some love this Valentine’s Day could be your sweetest decision yet . This is one relationship, the most important one, that needs to be loved, cherished, taken care of and respected the most. The relationship you have with yourself.

We place such a measured focus on relationships and couples and love, that we forget that loving ourselves is the most important thing that we could do in our life.

It’s become conventional wisdom that we’re all supposed to love ourselves, no matter what our relationship status.
And in this heavily selfied , highly Instagrammed world, you have to realise that loving yourself is also an important matter on the agenda called life.

Loving yourself is not the prerogative of  women looking for someone to love, in fact, if you can’t love yourself, how will you love anyone else?  But for most women in our country, loving oneself goes out of the window the moment someone else walks into their lives. Out go their dreams , passions, hopes and ambitions. Everything is done as the utmost duty towards that one person they love, and all their feelings and hopes are put away like album full of old pictures, taken out from time to time, looked at, and sighed upon.

I am not saying to throw away the red roses or that heart shaped pillow, or to cancel your date with your spouse. In fact, I think those things are very important. What I don’t want all of us women to continue to do is to let ourselves get lost like an old photo in this melee.

If you don’t take the time to appreciate ourselves, how can we expect that others will?In fact, the more you neglect yourself, the more your other relationships suffer.If you are constantly doing things for others and leaving yourself as the last priority, all you will be left with will be feelings of bitterness and self resentment and your other relationshops will suffer as a consequence.

Will you be considered too selfish if you took care of yourself?I don’t think so.  I truly believe that taking care of you is one of the most important things that you can do for the ones you love.So how will you show yourself some love? It doesn’t really mean sending yourself a dozen roses or a box of chocolates.It is more about taking the time to think about the things that you really want to do in your life, and really want for yourself and what makes you feel good, and getting rid of the people and commitments that do not fit into that category.

One of the best things about loving yourself is that it is contagious. We are all drawn to and attracted by that person in a room that signals the right levels of confidence because it is the type of easy-going confidence that makes us all feel better for having met them. Self-lovers make us feel better about ourselves not worse.

It is perfectly possible to love yourself but still strive to change for the better. It’s about having values but not being overly judgmental or intolerant of others. We are all work in progress in terms of self-development and what best way to show our true love for self than Meet Yourself !

With QWEEN, let’s discover the real you.
Book- Sunny Day’s Secret- Todd Patkin

Picture courtesy- Shutterstock

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The five kind of business women you will find everywhere

The five kind of business women you will find everywhere- have you got your own list of these irksome-quirksome?

Kiara walked in the office and stomped her bag on the table. “I have had it !!!” She exclaimed!

Wondering what got the raw nerve of this otherwise sweet and wonderful QWEEN, I tenderly approached her..” What happened?” I asked. “Something got you on your way to work?” and despite my best intentions, I couldn’t hide smirk in my voice. ‘Must be a difficult client or the traffic or may be the maid’ I presumed.What followed was a laugh riot when she told me about a networking event she had attended the other day. Read on as I give you the sneak peek into what exactly got her this time..

Kiara’s top 5 categories of businesswomen/entrepreneurs

  1. The Drama Queen- Well, she is just that, a drama queen. Period. She has a lot to bear every single day while she paddles her business to you. The reasons for delay in her services or product deliveries are just short of a catastrophe, largely a personal one- like her son having a “severe” cold, or may be martians just attacked her home! Whatever it is, be prepared to hear the saga of endless woes with a tissue-box in hand , as it will always be some long winding story
  2. The Businessman Woman- The woman in this category will always be having a guy’s approach to business. Rolled up sleeves, shooting expletives,sometimes even at clients – comes naturally to her. Her ego is up there in the sky and in her head she is already a business tycoon. This woman will always be ready to pounce at the smallest feedback with the vengeance of a Viking. Be ready to have an earful from her no matter it is targeted at you or someone else.
  3. The I-me-myself woman- Agreed, it takes a lot of guts , hard work and determination to start a business. An off shoot of drama queen, this type of businesswomen will always try to project their businesses. For them, they come first, always. They can promote their color coded tissue box delivery business at a wedding ceremony and a funeral with equal ease! After all, people are going to cry when the bride or mortal remains are sent off, right? These women will always want to piggyback their way to business on an event. So be prepared if they drop their business cards or even their wares at your promotion desk at an event !
  4. The Diva-Goddess- This businesswoman will have a condescending look. She will always look down on you as a lesser mortal, someone who is the lowliest insect on the planet. Or probably she will completely ignore you, telling you through her high nose- that you really don’t deserve to have her product or even worthy of inquiring about the service. She , with her perfectly manicured hands, designer bags, coiffed hair, and a thing for tongue –rolled “R”s will always be the center of attention, never mind that all she deals in is a range of lunch boxes !
  5. The Alpha Female- This one is our favourite. Her kids go to best school, husband has 7 figure salary, drives the latest sports sedan, holidays every 3 months in exotic destinations (how do we know, Facebook and selfies! ) she really doesn’t need the money and she says so, and she is doing the business as a favour to all of us so we could benefit from her benevolence. This woman is very hard to please, and she will throw all her weight behind herself to ensure you do not leave without buying what she has to offer, just because she is the best!

As for what category had irked my fellow QWEEN that day, well, keep guessing, better, leave a comment with your funny stories about any of these business women you have met ! Err… do you belong to one of these categories too! 😉

Image courtesy- Dreamstime.com

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Letter to Santa by a Work-From-Home Mother!

My Top 10 wish list for Christmas!

Dear Santa

Yes, finally, I could make my reluctant- to- hold- a- pencil- but- ready- to- paint- the- town(and my lacquered ,newly minted walls) -red son to write a letter to you.

Of course I put in ideas in his head as to what he should ask you !

You think you could deliver a rocket to go to the moon and back, a “real gun” and a house made of candy , home delivered , or should I say, Amazon delivered for a 4 year old in a 1500 sq Flat?

Before your cuddly grandpa like ho ho ho becomes Ha Ha Ha , I too have a wish list of my own.

I thought I’d help you out this year since I know a few home-based working moms, and I may be able to tell you what is on a lot of their lists. So to save you some time, I’ve put together the top ten things Work-from-home women want For Christmas

10.  Your Elf please!- We want them badly to help entertain the children so we can get some- in fact- ANY work done.

9.  One more Elf Please !- We want another elf to help get all the Christmas shopping done, yeah, even for online shopping we need one, so while I work on my latest project past its deadline 10 days ago, your elfie can use my phone for online shopping!

8.  And just one elf to wrap all those gifts.

7. Errrrrr… One more elf to decorate the tree, the house , and one to keep watch so the kids don’t knock it over.

6.  An elf would be nice to put those lights up that Hubby has been postponing to get down since Diwali so we could put the new ones for Christmas!

5. One Elf for cleaning up the house, and of course to fold all that laundry! oh please say you will.

4. It would be great if we could borrow Mrs. Claus just to do some Christmas baking for us!

3. And Santa, can you send a personal trainer elf to get rid of some of these extra holiday pounds?

2.  Oh and an extra wonderful, loving elf to watch these lil angels so husband & I can attend a holiday party would  just be perfect!
And Santa, the top thing QWEENs want for Christmas is……

DRUM ROLL PLEASE……….

  1. Some of that magical dust for more hours in the day!

 

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What’s inside your Christmas Goodie Bag!

QWEEN brings to you some quirky ideas to add to your Christmas gift hamper for your loved ones! We understand its not easy to be a Santa and with your busy life, you are sure to miss out on fun if you do not have handy gifting solutions for the holiday season!

It’s that time of the year again — festive Christmas songs are playing on the radio, and the holiday mood is in the air. I hope you’re getting ready for the holiday season, because we at QWEEN can’t wait for the holidays to arrive!

The holiday season is a time of love, giving, and sharing. To help you stand out during the best time of the year, we’ve prepared a delightful compilation of holiday gifting ideas!

So leave those boring recycled gifts, and try and gift something to bring out a smile on  the faces of your loved ones!

  1. Gift a DIY cookie/ Dessert Jar- This one is our favourite. It is a lovely gift to be had and shared with family of foodies. Premixed ingredients await butter and milk and a gentle bake inside the oven, which the entire family could do together. Beautiful, loving, and involves the whole family in.cookie-jar

Photo Courtesy- Little Baking Hands

  1. A Cart load of goodies to give away- Here is one thing that your loved ones would love to do. Bulk buy little onesies, sweaters, caps, mittens, shoes and toys. Put them all in a red gunny bag and put a tag- “I gift you the gift of sharing”. Add the address of nearest orphanage or a lower income group kids school or contact details of an NGO. Urge your friend to go to the place and distribute these goodies.The smile, happiness and joy in the eyes of little ones will surely be a lasting memory for your loved one!happy-kids

Photo Courtesy- ashrayainitiave.org

  1. A full day pampering session- Your friend will kiss your feet for giving out this one! Take her kids away, book a home salon service for her and tell her that everything will be taken care of and she should just relax. Because her time to herself is the most beautiful gift you can give her.urban-clap-collagePhoto Courtesy- UrbanClap
  2. Join a cooking workshop together- QWEEN Mentor, TV Host & Celebrity Chef Rakhee Vaswani offers customised classes to suit all your requirements. You could choose your own cuisine or dishes ,select your date and time, opt for classes with your friends, and cook up your own storm in her state of the art studio! You can also gift it to a group of your friends who love to learn new techniques from the master herself..Thoughtful, isn’t it?palate-culinary-collagePhoto courtesy: Palate Cuisine Studio
  3. Gift a fitness programme- Help the person you love in making their new year resolution of getting fitter stick. Gift them a nutrition cum weight loss programme. There are many programmes that are available online, Like the ones by QWEEN Mentor , author, fitness and nutrition expert Tanuja Sodhi. Your gesture is surely going to help them stay on course, as heath comes first for all of us! Better still, join one together so the two of you can stay inspired!tanuja-sodhi Photo Courtesy- Tanujasodhi.com
  4. A cool Photoshoot with your loved ones- Christmas is the time of the year when you can let your hair down, reflect on your one more trip around the sun, and ruminate with your friends about how you would like to start your next year.. What better way than having your loved ones out for a warm sunny lunch followed by a lovely photoshoot! Sounds good? Think of the memories you will make for a lifetime.

Christmas is the perfect way to end an year and usher in the new. Make a fresh start today with these handy tips and wow your loved ones in your quirky gifts!

 

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Top 5 Diwali ideas for busy women

When it comes to festivals, Diwali in India takes the foremost place for all of us.

We all remember the times when our preparations for this 5 day long festival used to start well before Navratras, and we would all start planning and then make beelines for shopping at already crowded , glitzy local markets.

Not anymore, because all the planning can be done right from your smartphone , tab or laptop, in your spare time, when the markets may have closed, and get whatever you desire delivered right at your door step!

Planning to revamp your home? How about bringing this nice dining set from Flipkart to your home this Diwali?

So, no time for getting the lights yourself? Have you tried these excellent home services from HouseJoy and Taskbob? The electrician will come to your home in your stipulated time and bring lights, and all razzmatazz to ensure your house is festive ready!

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And if you were really caught up in work and had no time to clean up your house for customary laxmi pooja, try Taskbob’s home cleaning services-

These earthen diyas from amazon are sure to light up your home and bring out the festive spirit

Looking for something unique to gift your friends and loved ones?

Try out these amazing array of products, all under one roof of your home, delivered right at the doorstep.

And if you are still confused about what to gift, and not sure, how about some gift cards for your loved ones to shop for themselves?

Online shopping is one of the most eco-friendly, time saving way of shopping. If you haven’t tried it out yet, try it this Diwali , and get more time to enjoy the festival than figuring out traffic snarls and parking spaces!

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Parenting Woes? Bring them to Parent Town!

“Parenting is the easiest thing in the world to have an opinion about, and the hardest thing in the world to do”- Matt Walsh

If you have never walked barefoot on broken glasses, try parenting. The trials and tribulations of pregnancy and motherhood are nothing compared to parenthood. Right from the little baby who is completely dependent on you to the adamant-to-the-core independent teenager, parenting tries a human being like nothing else would.

Most parents feel and admit that parenting is a thankless job. You do everything under the sun, go beyond your patience limits and are tested every step of the way by your kids. All this while you are being constantly judged by everyone in the world. Add to it the frustration of not doing it right, the guilt of not being the next supermom or superdad and constant comparisons with those who seemingly have decoded parenting. Phew! it is indeed the worst job in the world. And a non-paying one! Beat That!

As mothers, women have it more difficult then most men. Whether working women or stay at home mothers, they are constantly battling their feelings of guilt and remorse for not doing enough. Sometimes it is for their family, other times for themselves. They are frustrated and are constantly looking out for answers to their various dilemmas.

QWEEN knows how difficult it is to be a good parent, and we appreciate the importance of a sound advice that could come from someone’s experience in a similar situation as yours. How wonderful it would be to have someone somewhere always at your beck and call? Someone who could empathise when you are in a quandary, help you with your problems, share their experiences, and guide you through the maze of good/bad, right/wrong, too strict/too lenient etc etc.

A true friend in every step of the way, because as they say, it takes a village to raise a child, so lets have the whole town for you!

QWEEN is proud to be associated with “Parent Town” – a community of parents as their Exclusive Work-From-Home experts. The interactive and super cool app by Parent Town is a one of its kind developed  for the parents and by the parents, where you could ask any questions you might have. Discuss any topic that’s on your mind. Interact with experts, share tips , tricks and make lifelong friendships, watch interesting videos on ParentTown TV and participate in exciting contests and giveaways for fun ! Literally, a town for all your Parenting Needs.

Visit www.parenttown.com for more details.

They are also on iTunes and Android as an App. Download the App Now

 

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7 ways to make the most of your child’s vacation

collage-of-three-happy-childrenWith summer break in full swing, most mommies are wondering how to keep their children gainfully occupied. The days are longer, hotter and it is next to impossible to keep kids outdoors for fear of sun stroke or other illnesses.

So how do mothers keep their little ones from getting bored?

Here are top 7 ideas for mommies in Mumbai to make the most of summer breaks without breaking their heads ( and so many things around the house, literally )

  1. Take them to role play areas like Kidzania- Kids are shure going to have a blast there. There is so much to do, to learn, and most kids once enter won’t want to come out before 3-4 hours. So give your child a unique learning experience by making him experience the life of grownups in a safe , sound environment. If distance is an issue, look for some soft play areas in malls close by. Most malls have something going on for children during summer breaks, and kids will be happily engaged and busy.
  2. Brush their swimming lessons- Swimming is one such activity that totally suits this weather. They won’t sweat, dehydrate and will be very happy with water play. You can also organise a pool party near your community swimming pool for your children and their friends. Kids are sure going to have a blast. No swimming pool in your locality? No problem. How about one of those large inflatable pools available? Sure , they are not as fun as real pools, but with little creativity and imagination ( how about speed boat racing in the home pool, or may be some fishing using magnetic fish available easily in the market? )
  3. Busy boxes/ Activity kits- There are many entrants in this relatively new market. A busy box is a monthly arriving activity box which has all the material- craft items, books, stationery, toys, etc based on a particular theme. Give your child one box and watch them learn and grow their knowledge.
  4. Enroll them in a sports activity- Sure, your child may not know the latest Game of Thrones series, or the new PS2 game. The best way to learn life lessons is through active , outdoor play.So engage them in some sports activity. Tennis, squash, football , badminton, cricket, anything that they take fancy to. Through sports they can learn discipline, team spirit, sportsmanship, and so many skills that will do them a lot good than management text books later in their lives. You can take them to Smash where they are sure to have a blast!
  5. Grandparents; Pillar of strength- This vacation, make a habit of taking them to the previous generation. Unlike us parents busy in Social Media, the grandparents have been there, done that, and thats why their stories, struggles and how they overcame the problems they faced in their time and age will ground your children like nothing else. If due to some reason, it is not possible, arrange for older generation in your society to interact with your children. A session a week where they can share stories, anecdotes, laugh and spend time together will be mutually beneficial to both generations.
  6. Voluntary work- Associating with a social cause like teaching children from nearby slum area, clean up drives, collecting unused clothes and other items and distributing them to the needy will be a great learning experience for your children. Such social work early on in their lives is going to surely help them build empathy and make them realise the importance of sharing .
  7. Help them set up a business- How about starting a library at home? Or if your child is computer savvy, you can ask them to take up designing of pamphlets, handouts etc for others. They can go to designers who are part of your network and are always on the lookout for an additional hand, and learn as apprentices. Your young daughter will learn a lot by assisting a fashion designer you might know through your network. Most children these days have lofty ideas about their future career plans. Such activities are surely going to open up their eyes to real problem and challenges they might face in their choice of career. Not only that, they will also realise the kind of hard work they need to put in to fulfil their aspirations.

 A network like QWEEN can open up new horizons not only for you, but also for your family, so join QWEEN today.

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SMART SHOPPING – DURING SALE!!

We have two fashion seasons i.e. Spring Summer and Autumn Winter. Thus, we have sales post the fashion season in the month of January and July. The end of season sale is for the retailers to sell off the excess stock from the previous season.

Here are some tips to follow to make wise purchases during this period.

1. Create a SHOPPING LIST:
• Evaluate your wardrobe
• Think about what needs to be added or replaced (including accessories and makeup)
• Make a list of items that you would like to add eg: black waistcoat, brown cotton trouser, ruby red lipstick
• Also, list out the stores that you would like to check out and plan your day accordingly

Read more →

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