Let's Grow Wild Official Launch on the Importance of Growing Native Wildflowers

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Wildflowers are native plants which can be naturally vibrant and is said to be rarely modified by artificial selection or breeding. It helps restore balance in nature and protecting these native wildflowers becomes very important to prevent biodiversity loss especially in a phase wherein we see an alarming decline in bees and butterflies populations.

Some wildflowers are said to attracts specific species of insects and birds acting as their food reservoir. They are considered as the best plants to attract butterflies since these creatures have already adapted to using these wildflowers over thousands of years. The insects which feeds on these wildflowers are beneficial to human beings and other living beings as these insects help fertilize the food crops we eat.

butterflies and native wildflowers

In a study published by Thomas G. Barnes, Ph.D. Wildlife Specialist, University of Kentucky, it has been written that fourty two species of butterfly are known to use common milkweed, twenty species are known to use swamp or red milkweed and purple coneflowers are used by at least 22 species.

Owing to the decline in natural habitats, let's GrowWildUK started a campaign to spread awareness on how important for gardeners and those interested in gardening to plant native wildflowers to help attract and feed butterflies. Check out the video below to see what is the campaign all about.


On an exclusive roof top gig on April 6, 2104,BBC Radio 1 Presenter Gemma Cairney met the Neon Jungle band members Shereen, Amira, Jess and Asami who were there for the official launch of Grow Wild campaign fund by Big lottery in association with Kew botanical gardens. The Neon Jungle team was as excited with the launch helping spread the awareness of Grow wild project as well as meeting with their fans who caught a sneak preview of the much awaited new single from the band.

For Gemma's question how important is Grow wild campaign is and how much difference it could make, Lucie Kerley of Kew gardens replied that Grow wild campaign is meant to get new people across the UK interested in growing wildflowers in spaces around them. And it could make a massive difference since a multitudes of food grown in UK relies on pollinating insects.

Jack Shilley, director of Younghort also points out that Nature being huge important, people have to rely on wildflowers which are the key to keep the native species and ensure that plants get pollinated for future generations. Wild grow projects also provides free seeds and community projects to lots of people especially the young people. 

You can get involved in the Grow Wild project in their Facebook page and even sign up for your own native wild flower seeds. These wildflower seeds will just needs a little space in your garden or backyard and the result of planting them will be rewarding enough attracting a rich variety of wildlife into your garden. These local wildflowers naturally belong to the environment, colonize themselves quickly since the ground soil has been already tuned to its needs whatever the weather is. In no matter of time, your garden comes to life with bees buzzing and butterflies fluttering along with the palette of colours the wildflowers brings into your garden. 

The above campaign runs in three phases - spring, summer and autumn, and people are encouraged to share their updates and photography through social networks. Details of the happenings from community projects and individuals involved in sowing wild flower seeds can be found at the Grow Wild website (growwilduk.com/letsgrowwild) and Facebook page (facebook.com/growwilduk) and twitter hashtags #GrowWild or #LetsGrowWild. Come on, let's grow wild together!



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Activities for kids - How to make your own Easter Bonnet Hat

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My children and I love artworks, and its no wonder why we spend more time in activities such as painting, artworks and crafts. One main objective of doing so is to teach them (or learn myself) on how to reuse things available at our home and also coming up with incredible ideas. How great and satisfied one can be to see their imagination coming to life!. Yes, creative activities for kids helps sharpen their imagination generating ideas on how the end product should look like and what can be done to achieve the same. The materials are mostly sourced from inside our home like the remains of our birthday party gifts, last year's party collections, crayons, sketches and so on. My previous post on "How to make a Duck Easter Hat" is one such example of creating a craft from scratch.

And today it was decided I should blog about my daughter's Easter hat and how we started doing it from scratch. The below image shows the hats which we made together - the yellow duck hat made for my son Berry and the pink rabbit hat made for my daughter Cherry. 

activities for kids
Craft Activities for Kids

Materials Needed:

- A cardboard  (recycle it from any package or gift box)
- A pink coloured tissue paper
- Coloured papers
- Sketches
- Scissor
- Adhesive Gum
- Transparent Cello Tape

How to Make a Duck Easter Bonnet Hat


Step 1: Take a large cardboard box for making the base of the hat. We used the box that came with my daughter's birthday gift. Now, mark and cut two circles - a smaller circle would sit exactly on my child's head and a big circle should be extending 3 to 5 inches from the smaller circle. And you have to cut a long rectangle which would bind both the circles and looks like the below image.

activities for kids
Craft Activities for Kids
Step 2: Now that we have the foundation for our hat, its time to decorate it the way we want. Since my daughter wanted the hat to look like a rabbit, we started to pick colors and looks to would helps us make a rabbit. Another circle was cut and then covered by a yellow tissue paper. For the ears, Cherry selected orange since she wanted the hat to look bright. After some decorations, this whole portion will be glued in the front side of our hat.

activities for kids
Craft Activities for Kids
Step 3: We covered and glued the whole hat using pink tissue paper. Eyes and whiskers were added to the rabbit using black coloured paper and glued to the front of the hat. To make the hat look unique and interesting my daughter Cherry came up with the idea of adding Easter egg shapes on the body and the tail of the rabbit. Now imagining the pink base as the rabbit's body, we decided to add a tail like look which will be decorated with oval egg shapes and then glued over the tail. The result of all our imagination is the below image.
craft activities for kids
Craft Activities for Kids
Note: To give the tail an elevated look, a cardboard stick is glued and made to stand in vertical position (see below image) holding the hat as well as the tail in position. The output was really great and we all liked what we did. Hope you will also like it!

activities for kids
Craft Activities for Kids
You may like to read more on kids's crafts activities





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How to Make an Easy Easter Bonnet Hat

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Creativity starts at home and this Easter, we brought in more fun ideas crafting our own Easter bonnet hats. Not long before we used to buy a bonnet hat and some ready made chicks and plastic eggs to decorate our bonnet hats. Later I learnt that a completely homemade hats starting from scratch is the most preferred and liked in my kids school. And so this Easter, we settled for cardboard and coloured papers.

The below image is a Duck Easter Bonnet Hat that I made for my son. The left side duck hat suits for the girl child with its long eye lashes but for my son, we had to cut the eye lashes a little, add a bow tie along with a eye glass to make the little duck look like a boy.
duck easter bonnet hat
Duck Bonnet Hat

Materials Needed:

- A sheet of thick paper (or) brown paper used for rolling gift wraps
- A yellow coloured tissue paper
- A black paper 
- Scissor
- Adhesive tape
- Transparent Cello Tape

How to Make a Duck Easter Bonnet Hat


Step 1: Take a large sheet of thick paper which forms the base for our Easter bonnet hat. I had used the brown cover used for gift warps (yes, I recycled it) and stuck the ends using an adhesive tape as per the measurement taken for my son's head.

Step 2: Except the lower end, all the other ends are sealed using an adhesive tape. Then using a yellow tissue paper I covered the top and sides. After doing so, the image should look something like the below one.

easy easter bonnet hat

Step 3: Now that I have covered the whole of the top and sides with yellow tissue paper, it is time to make the beaks to give life to a face of a duckling. Using an orange A4 sheet (or coloured paper), make a beak by cutting a rectangle and folding it in between ( for both top and bottom ) . To make the beaks stand in place, I had used the transparent cello tape for both the top and bottom beaks .

duck easter bonnet hat

Step 4:  For the eyes, I cut two circles from a black sheet of paper with the help of a coin and a scissor. And for the eyelashes, I cut thin strips using the remaining black paper. Finally I stuck them on to the yellow tissue paper using a transparent cello tape.
easter bonnet hat
Easter Bonnet Hats for Kids
Step 5: Cut along the bottom sides to make it decorative. You can leave the hat just like that or make it look boyish by adding a glass and a bow tie. For girls bonnet hat, you can add some flowers on the sides (see left side image). 

duck easter bonnet hat
Easter Bonnet Hats for Kids
Hurray! Now our cute looking Eater Bonnet Hat is ready. And I hope you will find making this Easter Bonnet Hat simple, easy, effective and above all the materials are cheap as well as easily available in our household :)


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Meeting and Greeting Sunshine and some Greens into our Little Family

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Nature's friend is what I love to tag myself. Being born in the 80's when there were more number of trees and fields in my town, I have never been left without interacting with Mother Nature everyday.

The outdoor adventures that I had as a child playing in the fields, bringing tadpoles home thinking they are baby fishes, aiming to strike a stone for that ripe mango in the mango groves, bathing and fishing in the pond in my grandma's village and waiting patiently for the pupa to hatch into a butterfly from the pink Oleander tree in my garden cannot be recreated in this present world which is way lot different with almost all fields and ponds taking the form of buildings and waterless pits.

Yes, as a child I experienced fresh air, chemical free water and moist sands wherein I had dug for those tiny bulks of clay to build my own toys and play-kits. The lack of technology and traffic-free roads made us go outside, before any neighbouring kid would come home knocking the door and calling out my name to join in their roadside fun games. I grew more closer to nature which made me whom I am today - caring and amicable to all living things around me.

Though my kids cannot experience what I have had decades before, I still try making them play outdoors and let them do whatever they love to do and in fact have their own experience with today's mother nature. After all Mother Nature serves as a child's best learning environment.
kids and nature
The Garden is their Paradise
My home garden is the best place to be in for looking at different flowering plant and croutons. My dad used to buy different varieties of plants and as he digs the mud for planting them, my kids watch and help him with watering the new plant. Very soon, their little brain tried making their own version of digging plants with combs and sticks, drenching themselves in the garden tap water in the name of watering the plants and sometimes bring in news of discovering some tiny insects.

The garden also served them as a wonderful place for watching butterflies, ants and even frogs. Both Cherry and Berry had many lovable memories in this garden. One problem I faced with my son Berry is that he always plucks the leaves and flowers making them as a toy in his game. But again compared to what I have done as a child, I had to let them go and that's what my parents tells me.

nature friends
The Touch of Mother Nature - Barefoot on Sand
Who doesn't love playing in the sand and crave for those smell of moist sand -petrichor? I myself have been quite a prankster jumping and playing in sand as a kid. And it is not fair to not let my kids enjoy life as close as touching mother nature's feet. Both Cherry and Berry love to indulge themselves trying hard to build sand castles and then slowly enjoying their moments with sand.

nature friends
Flowers and Plants are my best buddies says my son
Though both Cherry and Berry had grown a little, they still love playing outdoor in the garden old or new. My little prankster Berry is always behind the flowers but slowly learnt to take care of one which he himself seeded once. There are times the kids stumble upon tiny ants and bugs too. Soon, they start chasing them and calling out for me telling stories of what information they have found through those insects. Both Cherry and Berry are not afraid of insects and I am proud of them.

While Cherry is sensitive and caring, Berry can crush it with his slipper without hesitation. This is where Cherry gets upset with her brother complaining,"Don't! It has its job to do. May be its is going back to its home to meet its family". Slowly, Berry too learnt to avoid the insects and let it go its way.

hens cockerels
These birds are real friendly and watching them is a pleasure
Like me, my kids love watching how things works in reality. Once when we visited  my grandma's town , the kids happen to visit the hens and cockerels in the fields. They were even luckier to watch an egg hatch. My youngest after watching all about egg hatching came to me and questioned ," How does cats and dogs lay eggs?". I corrected him, "No, they are not birds to lay eggs but mammals like us and give birth to young ones".

With my first hand experience I had as a child taking care of my own pet cat mothering its kittens, I told them all that I know about a cat's life. My kids became very interested and soon wanted to own a pet cat or at least a dog. I had promised them one soon on their coming birthday. 

playing bubbles
Bubbles , Bubbles and Bubbles - Colourful and Fun
Apart from spending time with sands, insects, animals and plants, my kids love blowing and popping bubbles along with running outside for hide and seek games. 

Cherry was crazy for bubbles. As she blows the bubbles, my son would pop them one by one. The colours the bubbles reflect is one awesome magic that nature itself can bestow. 

Yes, bonding with nature gives my children first hand experience that we learn on books or watch on the television or laptop screen. The sense of touch and feel offers an unique experience making us communicate directly with nature. I believe that my children relationship with nature is an enriching experience in every way of their development.
playing outdoors
Come on! Join us to visit Mother Nature
Yes! my children are friends with nature and love spending time outdoors. I always believe that the more they spend time with Mother Nature outside, the more they learn to question/reason about why, where and how.

And yes, we are always ready to meet and greet sunshine and some greens into our little family. From growing our own plants to observing tiny lives on the ground,

Observation is the key to all language 
and as I observe, I see tiny ants
following their leader in lines
toward their constructed ant hill

Sometimes, they meet some passerby
wherein they exchange hello's and hi's
shaking hands, brushing with their antennaes

They love carrying larger food
A dead worm or insects in groups
carrying it home, deep down the hill
to feed and store for their future needs.

Did I see them carry someone hurt
A dead ant towards their colony
Don't tell me they have a cemetery
Strange but true they do have one

Easily, they can track their foods 
following the search ants trails of scent 
by calculating their optimal shortest route 
Yes, communication is their power key 

Oops! these guys attacked me
with those tiny yet sharp mandibles
making me scratch my foot in pain
Such tiny fellow is an awesome warrior

They protect, they guard and they defend
Small yet mighty hardworking creatures
I could sit for hours watching their life
And learning life lessons, maths and science

Yup! here I go again with not just ants
 But now, I observe a tiny worm ...

The above post is written for Kissan's "Nature's Friends" and Indiblogger for the topic #NaturesFriends " To tell a story about a child or your little one enjoying nature’s company".


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Finding Cube Root of any Numbers using Vedic Maths

- 4 comments
Finding the cube root of a number by the traditional method is time consuming but by using simple Vedic maths trick "mere observation", we can find the cube root of any number within 2 to 3 seconds.

We all know the 27 is the cube of 3 and cube root of 3 is 27 which means the reciprocal procedure of calculating the cube is the cube root. Though this sounds easy, the procedure to find cube root for bigger numbers like  421,875 becomes a quite tricky and time consuming. For such bigger numbers, we can find the cube root in as 2 to 3 seconds by just looking at the number with perfect practice.

Proceeding further, lets make sure we know  the following two rules mentally.

Rule 1 : Know the cubes of first 10 natural numbers

cube roots trick

Rule 2:  Last digit of cube roots

cube roots

General Instructions for mere observation

  1. Divide the number into two groups as L.H.S and R.H.S by putting a slash 3 digits from the right
  2. Use rule 1 for L.H.S and find the cube root closer to that number.
  3. Use rule 2 for R.H.S and find the last digit of the cube root.

Lets start with an example say, find the cube root for 32768?

cube roots easy

1. Divide the number into two groups by putting a comma or slash after 3 digits from the right.
    32 | 768 

2. By observing the L.H.S of the number 32 and taking the perfect cube smaller than 32, we can conclude that square root of the number should be 3 from rule 1. Hence for our first digit on L.H.S, the cube root is 3.     32 | 768 
     3 

3. Coming to the R.H.S, we have 768 as our number. And from rule 2, we know that when the last digit of the cube is 8, its cube root should be 2. Therefore, our R.H.S of the cube root is 2. 
    32 | 768 
     3      2

Therefore, we have successfully found that the cube root for 32768 is 32.

Another Example,

Now lets find the cube root for 421,875.

Cube root for 421, 875 = 421 | 875
                                     =  7   |  5  
Therefore cube root for 421, 875 is 75. We found our answer just in seconds by following mere observation rule.

Now try finding the cube root for the following,
  1. 79507
  2. 592704
  3. 1157625



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3 Ways to Create Horizontal Navigation Menu Bar in Blogger

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Horizontal menus are very important for navigation in a web page or a blog. It creates a professional look making it easy for the readers to browse the topic they want in a simple and effective way. Below are three ways in creating your first horizontal menu bar for blogger blogs.

1- Create an horizontal navigation bar using Page widget


The most common menu used in bloggers is "Page Menu" which is done by dragging your Page widget on top of your blog post widget. 

My poetry blog uses "Page Widget" as its menu layout and looks like,

horizontal menu blogger
Horizontal Menu Blogger
But the main draw back of using the Page menu is that it cannot have a drop down lists. To make an horizontal menu with drop down lists, you need to construct some HTML or CSS codes and then embed them either in your Edit HTML of your blog template or embed it in a HTML blogger gadget.

2- Create an horizontal navigation bar using Edit HTML of Blog


The below steps is your guide in helping you build your own custom widget for blogger menu. You have 10 different examples exploring the options to play with your menu widget and its layout.

How to Create Drop Down Menu in Blogger
The common link scheme looks like below where link 1, link 2 are normal links (parent links) and link4, link5 are drop down menus(child links) for link3. The red colored ones are the child links which gives our drop down lists.

<div class='menu'>
<li><a href='link1'>Link1 </a></li>
<li><a href='link2'> Link2</a></li>
<li><a href='link3'>Link3 </a>
<ul>
<li><a href='link4'> Link4</a></li>
<li><a href='link5'> Link5</a> </li>
</ul>
</li>
</ul
</div>

The above link scheme is generally placed in the <body> section of your Edit HTML codes under <div id='header-wrapper'> in between <div class='menu'> ...</div> , where we call the style class named "menu".
horizontal html menu
Horizontal Menu Blogger
The menu class is a set of CSS style sheets which we place in under our </b:skin>. It looks like,
.menu{font-size:12px;border-bottom:3px solid #6bd;border-top:1px solid #DDD;margin:0 0 7px 7px;padding:0;}
.menu ul{height:30px;list-style:none;margin:0;}
.menu li a{border-right:1px solid #DDD;display:block;line-height:30px;text-align:center;text-decoration:none;padding-left:15px;padding-right:15px;margin:0;}
.menu li a:hover,.menu ul li:hover a{background:#6bd;color:#222;text-decoration:none;}
.menu li ul{display:none;height:auto;border:0;position:absolute;width:225px;z-index:200;margin:0;padding:0;}
.menu li:hover ul{display:block;}
.menu li li{border-bottom:1px solid #dedbd1;display:block;float:none;width:225px;margin:0;padding:0;}
.menu li ul a{display:block;height:30px;font-size:12px;font-style:normal;text-align:left;margin:0;padding:0 10px 0 15px;}
.menu li ul a:hover,.menu li ul li:hover a{background:#2580a2;border:0;color:#fff;text-decoration:none;}
.menu p{clear:left;}
.left,.menu li{float:left;}
where we set attributes for our <ul>, <li> like its font size, height, border, appearance of drop down lists, link color, background, etc.

You can play with the properties and personalize your own horizontal menu. I had come with few interesting looks with minimal lines and understandable codes which you need to add to the above main codes (see inside the grey box above).

Few examples are,

1. Setting the display by adding inline property to the horizontal menu bar, .menu li li{display:inline;} and .menu li ul a{display:inline-table;}

drop down menu
2. By adding border radius property to our horizontal menu bar .menu{border-radius:25px;}, we get

html menu

3. Adding a background color to the menu as .menu{border-radius:25px;background:#CEF6F5;}, we can make our horizontal bar more appealing,
html menu
4. Adding the box shadow property to our horizontal menu bar, .menu{box-shadow: 10px 10px 5px #888888;}, we get

menu design
5. Adding color and border-style attribute to the horizontal menu bar property, .menu{border-radius:25px; background:#FFFF99;border-style:dotted solid;} we get

menu design
6. Now we can try making it more appealing by changing the gradient by adding the following property to menu , .menu {background: -webkit-radial-gradient(#99FFCC,#FFFF99,#99FFCC);}

menu design
7. Lets try by changing the background image of the menu by adding the image URL to the menu property

.menu{background-image:url('https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-CikCsgLXVos/UzR2hM3CX7I/AAAAAAAAKks/XGyf7Hvozn8/w1013-h185-no/win123.png');}

menu design
8. And finally we can try changing the look of the horizontal border with changing the border radius property and by making menu borders to zero we get,

.menu{border-bottom:0px; border-top:0px;}
.menu li a{border-bottom-right-radius:1em;border-bottom-left-radius:1em; }

drop down menu
9. Adding the following border,text and color attribute to these menu property,

.menu{border-left-width:15px;border-right-width:15px;outline:2px solid #DDD ;outline-offset:5px;text-transform:uppercase;}
.menu li a:hover,.menu ul li:hover a{background:#C8C8C8;}
.menu li ul a:hover,.menu li ul li:hover a{background:#808080;}



drop down menu

10. Adding more properties and attributes to menu,

.menu{border-bottom:0px;border-top:0px}
.menu li a{border:1px ridge #DB7C08;
text-shadow:0px -2px 1px #E4C31F,0px -1px 1px #E4C31d; font-size:16px;
-moz-border-radius:20px 0px 20px 0px;
-webkit-border-radius:20px 0px 20px 0px;
border-radius:20px 0px 20px 0px; color:#5F5F60;
-moz-box-shadow:6px 0px 0px 0px #DBB408;
-webkit-box-shadow:6px 0px 0px 0px #DBB408;
box-shadow:6px 0px 0px 0px #DBB408; background:#EED51C;
background:-webkit-gradient(linear,left top,left bottom,from(#EED51C),to(#E8C84B));
background:-webkit-linear-gradient(top,#EED51C 0%,#E8C84B 100%);
background:-moz-linear-gradient(top,#EED51C 0%,#E8C84B 100%);
background:-o-linear-gradient(top,#EED51C 0%,#E8C84B 100%);
background:-ms-linear-gradient(top,#EED51C 0%,#E8C84B 100%);
background:linear-gradient(top,#EED51C 0%,#E8C84B 100%);
-moz-transition:all 0.6s ease-out;
-webkit-transition:all 0.6s ease-out;
-o-transition:all 0.6s ease-out; transition:all 0.6s ease-out;}
.menu li a:hover,.menu ul li:hover a{background:#DDD;font-size:12px;}

drop down menu

3-Create Horizontal Drop Down Menu Bar using HTML/JavaScript Gadget in Blogger


Instead of calling the <div class='menu'>  in your Edit HTML of your blog layout, you can create your menu list by adding an HTML Gadget.

Blog Layout -> Add a Gadget -> HTML/JavaScript

In the gadget, just add your link scheme by adding your parent links and child links (see above) and save your arrangement.

Note: Both the ways above (2) and (3) gives the same result for the menu.

Hope you learnt the basics of horizontal menu creation.Just experiment with the colors, font size, display properties, etc using W3schools website as your reference sheet and create your own unique horizontal menu for your blogger blog. If you have enjoyed this post, do subscribe to my blog for more useful blogger tips :)

PS: Thank you Bhawya of Bhawish's Kitchen for requesting me to write this post about Horizontal Drop Down Menu


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Saving Tactics from a Shopaholic Dairy

- 11 comments
Shopping is a bliss for any woman, be it in on the mall, market, roadside or near our home. And saving money whenever possible imparts a feeling of  "Yes, I did it!" satisfaction of buying the right product at the right time.

Coupons, cashback and bargain!” these three words are those I often hear from being a little girl growing into a woman and now being a mother of two little kids.

Rewinding a decade back, 

I was playing on my verandah and as soon as heard a familiar voice shouting "Fish! Anybody wants a fish, fresh fish!", I jumped up with joy and ran inside my home calling out for my mom and my grandma.

Now the familiar scene of Bargaining began. As Muniyamma laid her fishes one by one on her wooden plate, my mom and grandma were checking the fish size, quality and then asked her to quote her price.

Muniyamma quoted, "It's Rs.90 for these five fishes". She said in a plain voice.

Shocked my grandma asked, "What Rs.90? These fishes are not even the size of my fingers for that price," scoffed my grandma taking one fish in her hand and showing how small it looked. She then continued, "Come on, tell me a fairer price now".

Muniyamma without batting her eyes sneered back, "Aiiyaa, you got to check your eyes then. Anyway lets make it as Rs.85 now and that's the final. Come on! Bring the money faster. I got to move to other houses too," she said not giving a chance for more bargaining.

I was looking at Muniyamma and then my grandma as they conversed. And then finally I looked at the fish which is going to be cooked soon, yearning for its smell and taste. .

My grandma looked at Muniyamma and said, "Is this right for you? They sell the same fish for Rs.60 in the fish market and you are quoting a very high price. See, I can offer you Rs.75 since you are bringing it from a long way, but not more than that," she said and sat turning back her face as if telling Muniyamma that she might not be interested in buying the fish if the price is not reduced.

All these while, I was thinking like 'Oh Grandma, can't she just pay the price Muniyamma asks or else she will take back the fish' and looked at my Mom for help who then intervened that she can pay Rs.80 maximum for the fish.

Muniyamma has to sell those fishes now. She thought for a moment and then said, "Okay, I agree for Rs.80".

Yay! I smiled. All the ladies were happy. My grandma, mom and I were happy with the little money we saved and Muniyamma was glad that she sold more for what she had brought. Now that's what we call as a marginal bargain in a win-win situation.

Fast forwarding my life and coming back to the present 2014, 

Coupons! This word has become a part and parcel of my life and every time I go shopping, I check out for special offers and discounts. My eyes easily tracks packs labelled "Flat % OFF" or "Buy this product and get this product free. Free coupon code inside". And being a coupon crazy lady, I walked in to check what how much I can save for today. 

My daughter who seems to learn very quickly from me said, " Mom, look there! Can you see that they are offering a free kettle with that Mixer grinder. Let's buy it! We don't have a kettle at home, Mom."

I stopped for a moment and looked at my daughter Cherry's bright, excited face with all innocence. I bent down a little and whispered in her ears, "But we do have a Mixer Grinder at home dear. That's a whopping Rs.3000 to lose for a Rs.800 kettle. Let's save instead!" I giggled.

Though a little confused she replied, "Whatever! but why save money?". I answered, "Because even little savings can worth a fortune".

Feeling determined in making little Cherry understand, I showed her how exactly we saved something. As we stood near the counter, I handled my daughter a coupon that I availed for buying something bigger on their store and asked her to give it to the sales man in front. After paying the bills, I handled her the small pack that I brought along with the bigger one and said, "Here is the dress brought from the savings received by using the coupon". My daughter wore a big smile on her face and said, "Wow Mom, Coupons are truly wonderful!"

I smiled back and replied, "Yes, they are even more wonderful when you shop online."

Before she could question me why or how, I continued "because you got lots of coupons spread all over by every retailer in the online shops."

That evening, my daughter Cherry was using the Internet to find more about Coupons as I was preparing our evening tea.

Suddenly she called out for me, "Mommy come on, help me!"

I rushed to see her looking sad and confused. When questioned, she replied hastily, "This Internet is crazy, Mom. Can you please tell me what exactly all these terms mean?" and pointed to the computer's screen.

I looked at her direction and saw the window screen filled with terms like Coupons, discount code, promo codes, vouchers, bargain and cashback.

Having thought for a while, I came up with an idea. I told her, "See, a coupon offers discounts for a particular product using a special code called as discount code also known as promo/voucher code wherein we can save a percentage of the money spent by using that code for buying the product. But bargaining means you  buy things more cheaply than the expected rate, much more than a discount coupon. And whereas cash back means you can still use the coupon to save some money and get an extra money as a reward for shopping."

"But why should someone give me an extra money for to do my shopping," asked little Cherry.

"Because that someone is thanking us for using their service. By shopping through their website, we help them earn some affiliate money and hence they give a small percentage of their earnings as a thank you gift. You shop through them and get rewarded. It's again a win-win situation," I said choosing my words carefully.

Cherry was boosted in excitement and replied, "Wow! Mummy you are so clever!" She paused a little and continued, "No! You are true Shopaholic." Yes, I am especially when something sounds so real.

Coupons + Cashback = Real Bargain! 

Ah Pretty! Isn't saving money is just wonderful?

cashback bargain coupon

This post is a part of the Shop, only to Save More! Activity by GoPaisa.com in association with BlogAdda.com.

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How to Upload Photos to Instagram from PC

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There are times when you need to upload photos from your PC to your Instagram account. Below are five simple steps which helps you to upload photos to Instragram.

Before proceeding to the steps, lets assume that you have photos or uploaded one in any of these location - Google Drive, Dropbox or Device Gallery (by uploading the specific image from your PC to your device using the device USB).

How to Upload Photos to Instagram from PC


Step 1: Login to your Instagram account from your device and under your profile, click "options" on the top right side corner which looks like 3 vertical dots.

upload photos to instagram
Your Instagram Account
Upload pictures to Instagram from pc
Choose Options from your Instagram profile
Step 2: Under Options -> Settings -> Click "Camera" which pops up the Advanced Features camera settings in regard with your Instagram.

upload photos to instagram
Click Camera under Instagram settings
Step 3: Under the "Advanced Features" camera settings, you can see a on/off button on "Use Instagram Advanced Camera". You have to disable the Use Instagram Advanced Camera feature and so slide the button to "off" position.

upload photos to instagram
Disable the 'Use Instagram Advance Camera"
Step 4: Now that you have disabled your Instagram Advanced Camera, whenever you click on the camera you get to see two options asking you whether you want to take a photo or pick an image from the gallery. Choose the second one "Pick from Gallery".

upload photos to instagram
Use camera button to initiate camera features (as above) 
Step 5: Instagram offers four different options to upload photos or images from your PC (or any outside source) to your Instagram account. Choose any of the way which is convenient to you by uploading the images to your dropbox or Google drive or to your device gallery using your USB.

upload photos to instagram
Upload photos to Instagram from PC using any of the above options
As soon as you select your image, your selected images is processed automatically into your Instagram account and you can filter it for an Instagram effect as you normally would do.

Below is an image wherein I uploaded it to Instagram from my Dropbox account and then used Instagram filters to make it look quite appealing - Instagramic!

instagram pictures


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How to fix Error Missing required field name fn and Hcard

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Quite lately I have been using Structured Data Testing Tool to check how Google extracts the structured data from my page. For those who don't know about Structured Data Testing Tool, it is a tool that gives you a preview of how your blog page would look in the Google search results. The important part of Structured Data Testing Tool is that you have to set Google authorship for your blog page by connecting with your Google profile.

After setting up your Google Authorship to your website by either linking your content to your Google Profile Page or by a verified email address , go to Webmaster Tools -> Structured Data Testing Tool ->


Now, enter you website or blog URL and click "Preview". You should get something like the below image wherein your Authorship to your webpage has been successfully retrieved.

fix hcard fn error
Google Structured Data Testing Tool
But, some time it happens that you get error messages like the below on your Extracted structured data,

author: 
Error: At least one field must be set for Hcard.
Error: Missing required field "name (fn)". 


(or)
Error: Missing required hCard "author".

How to fix Error Missing required field name fn and Hcard


Follow these two steps and you can get rid of the above errors within minutes.

Step 1:  Go to Blog Layout -> Edit Blog Post -> Post page options -> Tick " Posted by" option along with date and time.

Step 2:  Go to Edit HTML -> Search for "post-header-line-1" using CTRL+F.
Below the  "post-header-line-1" paste this, 

<span class='post-author vcard'>
      <b:if cond='data:top.showAuthor'>
        <data:top.authorLabel/>
             <b:if cond='data:post.authorProfileUrl'>
             <span class='fn'>
             <a expr:href='data:post.authorProfileUrl' rel='author' title='author profile'>
             <data:post.author/>
             </a>
             </span>
             <b:else/>
             <span class='fn'><data:post.author/></span>
             </b:if>
     </b:if>
</span>

Explanation:
The above code is the Blogger's default code for displaying author name on your Blog posts. When you untick posted by option in step 1 (or) if your code gets messed up while using custom template, then you get erroe message as Missing required field name fn and Hcard. By following both the steps above, the error gets fixed and you get to see your name being displayed under author. 

Final Result:
Now, when checking in Google structural data tools after the above required corrections, you should see a value for fn which is your name under Extracted structured data ,

published:2014-03-19T17:40:00-07:00
author:
fn:Umamaheswari Anandane


All tutorials blogged here are from personal experiences with 100% success rate. Enjoy!


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Roger Love The Perfect Voice Lessons Review

- 5 comments
Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Sounding good is the key integral part of any successful relationship. At any point in your life if you have felt the need to improve your voice be it for professional or personal reasons, then you must really check out Roger Love's The Perfect Voice program. The program highlights the message the way you sound is how people perceive about you and the more attractive your voice is, the more attractive you will appear to others.

voice lessons

I had used the online training kit for the perfect voice lessons by Roger Love and found it to be a rich resource of training tips to improve your voice through his vocal lessons. The methods and techniques proposed by Roger Love in his The Perfect Voice are neatly aligned in the perfect voice website's dashboard and provides an easy access to his voice training techniques thorough his clear audio instructions.

Roger Love is one of the the world's leading authorities on vocal coach who has taught many elite lists of celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, Jeff Bridges, Tyra Banks and more. His "The Perfect Voice" program itself has three main sections with sub-sections that discusses various vocal techniques and a daily warm-up sections which guides you on how to get a perfect voice.

In section one, Roger discusses on the meaning of star quality, on how to use the voice training program and trains you on how to do diaphragmatic breath with an easy to follow instructions and some special vocal exercises for male and female voices.

In section two, our vocal coach Roger Love teaches the secrets to communicate through the five building blocks of sounds which are the key ingredients in improving the way your voice sounds.

The most effective part of Roger's training is these "Building Blocks" which I really liked since he discusses many things which was quite interesting and new to me. I really tried on working on his techniques and in fact improved the way I sound. It is how we manipulate these five Building blocks like Volume, Melody, Tone, Space and Pitch, by mix and matching certain sounds, we can make our sound appear attractive.

Almost all of us want people to hang on to every word we speak and that's what Roger stresses in very session of his voice lessons. He uses the technique of tape recording your voice, listening and then adjusting your voice accordingly to the way you like to sound, such as how loud and confidence is the volume of your voice is, how fast or slow we should speak to convey our message to the other person, how high and low we should speak and how credible you must sound are presented in a wonderful way. I especially liked the way Roger explained the melody on the scale of one to ten and trying to incorporate all these key ingredients in our voice to sound new. Roger says that great speakers have known that a melody can bring the whole words to life and I had to accept this since I found Roger made me to hang on to every word he speaks in his voice lessons through his up and down melody .

vocal coach

Section three teaches all about the connecting words together, how to take care of your voice, some checklists, voice exercises with low lyric sound to reduce swelling in your vocal chord in case such things happens and how to follow a particular vocal profile to create an impact on the crowd or the person to whom we speak. He also discusses the type of diet that one should follow. All the techniques and ideas given by Roger through his vocal lessons promises to make sure your voice sound fantastic.

Is this a life changing program? I can't say that it is utterly a life changing program unless you practice the techniques and his program which is also available in CD everyday. Just like Roger mentioned that humans are all creature of habits, only by making this program as a habit you can make the best of it. Did I achieve anything from this program? Definitely yes! The complete audio voice lessons is a kick starter in learning the key aspects of how to change my voice for the better. It has given me the confidence of how to tune my voice and how well I might sound to others. The only thing I need now is constant practice.

Disclosure: I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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