Thursday, August 27, 2009


Just a quick update: I will be on vacation starting this weekend into next week - so will post when I get back.

Enjoy and have a splendid life (ooh, I love how the word splendid pairs up with the word life) : )


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Did You Know

Back in the days of zero internet (can't believe I survived then) I relied heavily on books and encyclopedia to quieten my curious mind. I just had to know if UFO's were real or for that matter, what really were UFOs. I had to understand the Bermuda's Triangle and how it swallowed ships and planes like they were some rare candy. I had to know what was the capital of Ethiopia.

I remember once Shikha, ma, papa and I had gone for dinner at papa's friend's place and this friend had a son and a daughter. I was probably nine years old then and Shikha eight. As was customary, Shikha and I had to be polite (ahem, all those etiquette teachings from mom) and had to strike up pleasant conversations with our new found 'friends' while the adults enjoyed their conversations on 'grown up' topics. I can't remember their names, but the brother-sister duo took us to their room to show us their toys and prized possessions. I remember going ' boring' until the boy walked towards me with a stack of books titled 'Did You Know'. This was a series of Why, How and When, and I was just smitten. I mean how could I resist such delicious pieces of information. I gave back this huge smile and grabbed the first book at the top of the stack...slumped myself in their chair and got lost in the 'Did You Know -How' edition. It was awesome -- I can still feel the joy I felt on discovering that there were others like me who reveled in the comfort of books.

So, keeping the flame of curiosity burning, I would love to share with you some random Did You Knows ...
  • Dolphins nap with one eye open and ants don't sleep
  • The glue on Israeli stamps is certified kosher
  • The original name for the butterfly was flutterby
  • 25% of your bones are located in your feet
  • Fortune cookies were actually invented in America n 1918 by Charles Jung
  • The University of Alaska stretches over 4 times zones
  • Kleenex tissues were originally used as filters in gas masks
  • A snail can sleep for three years
  • The Bible is most shoplifted book in the world


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Can you judge a person by the way he ties his shoe-laces? Can you judge a person by the way his glasses sit on his nose? Can you judge a person by the number of sugar he takes in his coffee?
Then why judge a person based on his color?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shower Updates and The Wish List

She got up at 6 in the morning and immediately started creating her to do list for the day. Her demeanor was calm, but her hands were singing to the tune of nervousness. Oh, so much to be done, she thought to herself.

First she ran for her hair appointment, and then for her manicure/pedicure appointment. Then she flew to get her makeup done. Yes, Shikha was the queen bee on her shower and left no stones unturned to make things happen the right way, and right on time : )

I joined Shikha at our dear friend Shveta's place who did a fabulous-fabulous job with the makeup. She worked her art with colors - a little splatter her, a little twirl there and some strokes right in the middle -- just like a real pro! Thanks Shveta - Shikha really looked pretty. Oh, and, thanks for my eye make up too...I think I kinda' rocked that like a superstar too!

Before you scroll down for the pictures, here's a quick and cool Wish List for the week:
  • I wish my darling sister the very best as she takes another step closer to being a mother...I can't believe we both have come so far
  • I wish the warmth in the air stays for another month (yeah, I don't mind sweating in a t-shirt..its better than sweating in 5 layers of wool)
  • I wish my mind would stop running at 120mph - phew, its my body that needs that exercise
  • I wish for a manageable load at work -- staring at the computer screen and those gazillion rows of numbers for hours...yikes, everyone looks like a number to me now : )

So now, drum rolls please -- because here are some pictures from the shower. Enjoy!!

good way to start...

Shveta going at it...

havin' a laughin' time as well..

final touches..

gorgeous mom to be...

shikha with papa and dhruv..

guests galore... :)

shikha and dhruv with friends..


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Baby Shower

Yesterday was Shikha's baby shower -- and it was soo much fun. Pictures and updates for you...coming soon, so watch out!

Have quite a few things to do, therefore I am distracted. But, will resume tomorrow.

Happy Sunday!!


Friday, August 21, 2009

Wet puppy

The unpredictability of weather enthralls me.

When I walked into the subway today, I was super hot, sweaty and lifeless. When I walked out, the cool air, pouring rain and wild wind had morphed me into a wet puppy :)


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Yesterday and Today

Yuck, no way, I say and make a disgusting face. I cannot be spotted in those...they make me look like an old aunty, I whine again.

That was me 4 years ago.

Oh, I cannot do without them, they are so comfortable, I say with a complacent look on my face. Be quiet, they are soo pretty, I whine again.

That's me now.

Well, nothing much has changed except my perception of them. And, I am talking about sneakers people.

Yes, believe it or not, I did not own a pair back then...somehow, I just didn't want one. To me they looked like a christmas sweatshirt with a big reindeer smiling in the center -- a fashion faux pas that I wouldn't dare commit. I would rather shimmy down the road in those gorgeous heels, while my soles burnt and my toes got massacred with corns.

But, then something invisible transpired and am now loaded with 2 kick-ass sneakers and can't do without them. Like, seriously. And, it gets better - today I bought myself a pair of Teva Sandals. Hello, comfort. I can't even think of breathing another moment without them. So comfy and so me. Umm...did I just confess something here??

Well, check out my feet's new best friends.

On a totally separate note, I do want to share 2 events that stood out for me today
  • A colleague of mine dropped by my office, and we started chit-chatting. And, somehow the conversation got steered towards lotto (hey, do you know megamillions is $207 million - yowza) and she said that she is just waiting for her win to happen this time. She will then retire, buy a new house, buy her family everything they need and then invest the rest. I looked at her while she was saying this and I almost felt it was me talking. I mean its funny how we share common dreams with people, and some dreams can be so exact. I smiled when she completed her sentence and simply responded with "same here."
Here's to dreams that give us hope, dreams that make us smile :)

  • While walking towards the subway, I came across a delivery man (Chinese, maybe in his late 30s) who was pushing his scooter because it had died down. He had the food package tied nicely to the hook underneath the scooter's handles so that it wouldn't spill. He was still wearing the helmet - I guess he thought that that would kick start the scooter automatically or maybe that gave him hope. But, then my eyes stopped on his face, and I saw pain mixed with intense warmth of a hot evening. His eyes said that he did not belong in this situation on this day -- hot blistering day, wearing a helmet and pushing a dead scooter. His eyes said that he was not meant to be a delivery man but to be a master of his life. And just like that, I prayed to god to make all his dreams come true and give him so much happiness that he wouldn't have to have that pain anymore. Oh, I would share my mega millions win with him...that's what I thought.
If it can be sneakers, it can surely be mega millions -- hey, you never know.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

For you, our lovely clients

For all faithful Banno Raani clients, please take a seat, drink some hot tea/coffee/orange juice/or whatever makes you feel relaxed and read the following -- we are working really hard on putting together our next collection - for you. So, prep your eyes for some more good stuff coming your way soon!! And, hope you also know that we are so happy, and blessed to have such darling clients like you...go ahead, pop that collar : )

Shikha and I are also working with the few things in terms of marketing, spreading the word on our blog, defining our next collection, etc. Yup - we have quite a work cut out for us. But, in the meantime, if you have a suggestion or opinion (ahem, honest one please) for us, then we have all the time for you. We will cancel that mani-pedi appointment and give you all the attention, because you are the one who makes all our hard work worthwhile. So, just holla or leave us an email/comment and we will surely get back to you.

Much love and hugs!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

To be honest...

Have you ever been in a situation where you had to give an honest opinion? Honest, as in, cold, true, no frills, just plain simple real opinion. Well, I am sure a million times, right? So, what do you do then, tell it like it is or bite your lip before you start dishing out what you really think?

And then how do you feel when someone gives you their honest opinion, yes, cold, true, no frills, just plain simple real opinion?

It is not easy either ways, and like you, I have been in this situation sooo many times. I mean everytime my friend asks me how her profile picture looks, I am torn between whether to tell her like it is and hurt her or sugar coat her love handles and not make her feel bad about herself. The way I approach such situations (and I am lucky when everything just flows smoothly) is to decide the person and situation in question. Now, don't get my wrong, when I say I base my decision on the person, I don't mean to discriminate. I'll be honest - I have fluffed my opinions even for my sis Shikha because when I see her eyes lighting up with excitement on trying out an outfit or on picking that modern vase, I just cannot bring myself to tell her "yeah, but not sure if you are arms are made for that kinda' dress" or "umm, yeah, that vase would go well with your bathroom decor" - I just can't do it.

But, then there are times,when both my mind and mouth are wired to tell the truth - you know one of those days. And, nothing will stop me from telling it like it is :)

Oh, and how do I feel when I am on the receiving end? Oh, don't even go there. If my sister or friend tells me that I am leaning on the heavier side - even in the nicest sweetest words - well, I just pretend I did not hear it or that they were talking about someone else...simple! Yeah, its' that brutal people!!

But, here's how I would like to sum up this whole give and take scenario - know that if you or your best friend has best intentions at heart - then an honest opinion should be the way to go - but, if layering it up a bit with some sweetness will not hurt anyone's future prospects, then by all means - just go with the full bag of sugar.

There -- said it like it is!! : )


Monday, August 17, 2009

Accidents...and the Wish List

Kartik was trying to find his gym gloves. He searched everywhere, in the closet, underneath the mattress, inside the kitchen cabinet (?), but just couldn't find them. I caught him zooming from one end of the room to another, while I lazily read my book. It was a hot summer day, and you couldn't pay me a million dollars to even lift my lil' pinky finger, so getting up to assist wasn't in my dictionary that day.

But, my eyes kept following his moving image like a kid follows the end of a laser light. After it became apparent that he couldn't find it, I shouted "coat closet" and that was it. He opened the coat closet and gave out a huge sigh of relief...and I did the same. Well, while retrieving those gloves, he accidentally knocked off the room freshner (pot pourri one) -- phash! it came to a crashing halt on the floor. The little aromatic beads spread everywhere and it truly became messy. Now, clean freak me, would have gotten up immediately and vacuumed the entire area in a jiffy, but I didn't do that. Instead, I just looked at those beads and noticed how beautiful they shone in that blistering sunlight coming through partially closed blinds. I noticed how all of a sudden the entire house smelled of freshly cut lavender, which transported me to a Parisian world of my own. Everything was just perfect and it didn't look like a mess at all. Kartik offered to clean up, but I said no, I will do go ahead with your gym.

This made me think - lil' accidents do happen for a reason, and instead of frowning and wasting energy on loathing questions like, "why did this happen" or "how clumsy can I/you be" or just being angry at it, if we just try to focus on the positive side, then we can make our lives easier, healthier and yeah, longer. Instead of building up "what if" scenarios, we should just let the situation pass by, and then look at the situation in front of us, from a happier and positive perspective.

Well, yes, its natural to be upset by accidents because they are totally unexpected and also because you don't know how to deal with the aftermath. But, what can make dealing with the unknown or the aftermath bearable is knowing that everything was, and is fine. Period. Nothing is lost (know in your heart that this is the ultimate truth) and if anything, things will be better from this point on. Yeah, believe me, it is that straightforward and there is no other complexity to it.

So, you probably want to know what happened after I inhaled all the lavenderness around me. Umm...I just went back to reading, and enjoyed the characters of my novel even more. It was as if they had a whiff of the sweet smell too. Then I got up, took the broom, and cleaned the area, while humming the tune of "Let's dance..its' gonna be ok.." by lady ga ga. Simple.

And, simple is also my wish list this week:

  • I wish I could get a seat to sit in the subway every morning (ok, why is this sooo difficult)
  • I wish my excel spreadsheets did not crash -- especially when I have, like, 10 seconds to produce a report
  • I wish there was an ice cream truck parked right in front of my house - everyday!!
  • I wish every rescued animal gets a loving home -- I will definitely resuce a few once I move into my own house
  • I wish there were 30 hours in a day - 20 to laze around in and 10 to do whatever : )

Happy Monday y'all!!


Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sweet Freedom

It was a struggle. A struggle for more than 100 years. Then the itch to get over it became apparent. The itch turned into a full blown rash which spread across the entire body, and then there just had to be a cure. It finally came, yes it did. In the form of freedom. Sweet, lucid, much overdue freedom. But, not after the itch was scratched one too many times.

India became free on August 15, 1947 and so, today marks 62nd birthday of the Independent India. This day has its own charm. This is the day when every person screams of his freedom from his rooftop, but instead of a sound, he uses a kite. A kite that takes to sky like a fish to water, snaking in every direction and announcing its superiority. Until, another one sneeks up on it, wraps its coil smoothly and tugs - flick! The kite is then torn from its string and it starts to sway towards the ground, where the kite hungry street kids are waiting to snap it up, and add it to their collection of fallen kites. Ah!

The day is buzzing with so much energy, that if one listens closely, they can almost hear the pride and happiness resonating in the air.

For this pride, for these kites, and for this sweet freedom, I salute the fallen heroes who made sure India only rises to its glory. Happy Independence Day!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

What came first - change or orchard?

I am nervous and anxious. Really, its' like this inner person is screaming for a change, and I cannot deliver. I. cannot. Blasphemous! Unacceptable! How can that be?
So, I wander in hope of picking a change, much like picking that perfect apple from a lovely orchard. Can it be that easy or would I have to start from scratch - that is, create an orchard first. I let the inner person decide...while I eat this really juicy plum : )


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't ask..

I was typing away at work, when suddenly this thought - absurd thought -popped in my head, and I had to share it with you. Please don't ask - what? who? why? how?

So, here it is - my thought bubble:

Kartik is such a Visa and I am such a Mastercard.

Told ya' - don't ask : )


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

NetFlix and the art of convenience

Back in the days, Blockbuster (BB) was it. Truly it. A place where you went to grab a piece of action or fantasy or some nice romance, and bring it to the realms of your home turf. Never mind the insane rush next day to return that favored piece so as to avoid being fined (aka penalty for being lazy). Ah, those were the BB days, and I hold them really close to my heart, just as I hold that American Beauty "flying plastic paper bag" scene.

But, then came NetFlix and shook everything like a 6.5 earthquake. It gulped the competition, and did not even burp! I would have not left BB if it wasn't for those insane rushes. And, so I decided to give NetFlix a try - the year 2004. I was hooked. I ordered three movies at a time, and there was no penalty for being late (read that lazy). When I got a broken disc, they exchanged it and there was not a bad word between us : ) Smooth, I thought, and so as I just said, I was hooked.

Then came the age of internet videos, and I let NetFlix go (2006). I watched free movies on the net, some even with an awful awful print. But, I did it. I had to roll with the times. Watched grainy, oddly positioned films on, but hey, they were free. Soon though the free part wore off, and I was left with a very grainy feeling about these sites. So, I stopped.

Today, I am back on NetFlix - all I had to do was queue my films, and the rest was taken care by them. I set up my account on Monday, and today I already have my three films. How convenient, and yup, you heard me, I am hooked. I can watch clean prints and not feel like a perpetrator of piracy.

This got me thinking. How does NetFlix do it? How does it make watching movies not only affordable but convenient also? The reality is that it all boils down to what is your business model and how you can sustain it. NetFlix was an idea that made anyone go "Oh, why didn't I think of it" AFTER the company became successful. Prior to that, everyone was skeptical and a little cynical. But, these people at NetFlix really made the process from signing up to squealing with joy on receiving the movie -- a pain-free 3 steps rule. And, that hit a very sweet bell with all the movie buffs out ther (which, I think, would be everyone :) ) I see this as a learning and inspiring story - something that can help me think differently for my business model at Banno Raani. What can I do to make my products/services closer to my clients? How can I make the shopping experience unique? How do I maintain the product flow and manage costs?

Well, that's my homework for now. But, I know this for sure, inspiration is all around us...its just a matter of us really looking for it!


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Wish List...and the Evacuation drill

Sorry, the Personal Finance has been delayed for some time, but its coming, so please bear with me.

Ok, today we had evacuation drill at work, and pretty much the entire building had to be evacuated. We have this every year as part of testing the "emergency response" health of the company, and it is necessary, but then, I think, it is not. When I was walking down the stairs, I was w-a-l-k-i-n-g, not running down the 200 odd flights of steps. People were chatting, checking their b-berry or iPhone and were just hanging. I completely understand that because it wasn't a real emergency, so one could take it a bit lightly. But I thought the whole point of this drill was to check how quickly and effectively we could respond to emergency, and I was disappointed that that wasn't how it was done. I wished people were more alert and realized why they were taking part in the evacuation. Well, hopefully, next year when we do this drill, there will be more meaning to it, and less iPhoning.

So, here we are with the weekly wish list (was due yesterday, so a lil' late):
  • I wish I wouldn't get stress pimples...they just. don't. look. good.
  • I wish I could learn to fly a plane...until then I will play it on Wii
  • I wish the MTA bus wouldn't blast the AC like nobody's business - yes, its HOT outside, but who wants to be frozen the next minute
  • I wish I could use the sale coupons before they expired -- oh, I missed out on a great Banana Republic deal
  • I wish people honored their feels good then : )
  • I wish I was a character on The Office...yowzza
Just a quick update, remember on one of my Wish lists I had wished for a Canon 5D... guess what? I got myself (ahem, Kartik got me) a Canon 20D SLR - yes!! This baby churns out one smooth pic after another, and I am soo stoked. Proof: wishes do come true : )

Oh, before I leave..I wish for you to get cool n' comfy on this hot Tuesday summer night...sweet dreams : )


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Perfect favor and sneezing

She was anxious. Her eyes darted from one ailse to another and you could tell she wanted to pick the right thing. After scoping some 20 odd items, she finally picked the perfect piece, and in that moment it was decided. Immediately, a huge smile washed over her face while she sneezed and sneezed to glory. Another sign that everything was moving in the right direction.

Shikha, Dhruv, Aunty and I spent better half of the day yesterday at WrapWithUs looking for favor item for Shikha's baby shower. It was fun looking through the wide array of choices (Dhruv kept picking up a wedding cake topper again and again, and I have no idea why), and Shikha was sneezing because of all the fine dust in the store from the boxes and stuff lying around. But, here is the bummer - what she liked was sold out! o-oh! So, now we have to go the on-line route for getting the perfect favor for the perfect shower...after all its Shikha's...if you know her, you know what I mean : )

Oh, and since the sun had baked us good (a beautfiul day, but you needed to be armed with a heavy dose of sunscreen) we decided to cool us off and quieten our taste buds at Panera Bread. We feasted on mediterranean veggie, frontega chicken and chiptole chicken sandwiches....down to its very last doughy' end. If there was a contest for wiping the food plate clean, I think we would have fun that contest, and some more : )

Hmm, now you think that is appetising, well you have to read what's coming up next....yup, Personal Finance just as I had promised you. I will be presenting you with Banno Raani's first ever guest blogger, Kartik Arora (APPLAUSE please). So, please stay posted : )


UPDATE: On Saturday, Shikha and I also met with Madhu di -- owner of a boutique extraordinaire --- to talk through some of the logistics of helping us build our business and our brand. She gave us really good ideas, which we are ready to implement. Thank you Madhu di, we truly appreciate you taking out time and giving us your undivided attention. Its great to gather pearls of wisdom from someone who has been in this field for a long time, and who understands the nitty-gritty of the trade. Thank you!!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Little things that rock

I am a very simple person at heart, and anyone who knows me, can confirm this 100% for sure. I get kick out of little things in life, and thats all I need to make my day(s).

For instance, receiving emails of encouragement and appreciation (for Banno Raani and totally unexpected) from my amazing friends plasters my face with such a big smile, that I can almost pass for Bozo, the clown. Hot cuppa' tea on a Saturday morning in bed makes me feel amazingly blessed. Those cute cartoons in Sunday newspaper always throw me in a tizzy and am laughing like a kid. Buying comfy n' colorful foam slippers from CVS makes me feel like such a diva.

So, you wanna' know what rocked my day today? Well, see for yourself.


Whats' in a bag of baked chips? Your future...

Well, yes, you read that correctly. I will explain in a moment, but, I want you to know something first.

I am very good at design/creativity, presentation of things (from food to jewelry), talking and mathematics, and will take full credit where possible. Don't fret, I am not tooting my horn here, I am just trying to make a point. So, while I am good and experienced at all these things, I am not so at personal finance. I am just a beginner in this field, and the wish to talk money management with you is a personal desire, not meant to force you into following a certain way. The knoweledge I have acquired so far (thanks majorly to my financially smart hubs, Kartik) is valuable and I just want to use this forum to exchange some ideas with you. That's my sole purpose here, and nothing more. Oh, and if you end up finding them useful -- cool brownie points for me, right? :)

Now, that we have established the key points, let's talk money. Ready?

The way I see money management is tri-dimensional. You have a) saving tips b)personal finance c) no-lottery gimmick

a) Saving Tips aka Saving yourself future one bag of chips at a time: This concept spans your everyday existence. I remember when I was in college (full time), I used to work (full time) at a place where the boss was just impossible, but the pay was good. So, I worked and I spent. I had to buy a piece of clothing every week, and may favorite store, H&M. I just went crazy every Friday (thats when I got my paycheck) and spent around $50-$100. We are talking roughly $400 every month!! I also had breakfast and lunch outside (sometimes dinner to fancy-schmancy places), so that's additional $200-$400 per month. When I deposited money, I noticed that while my take home pay was resonable, the amount adding up in the bank account was not. That concerned me and so, I stopped the impulsive buying of clothes/accessories, and controlled myself from passing by stores that screamed for me to get in. It was hard people, and we are really talking about a mammoth sized self control here. And, then I saw the effects of such a control in my bank account statements... I was a happy camper. Then this happened.

As soon as I collected a sizeable amount, I started spending again. And, it kinda' brought me back to where I began with - somewhat. One day, while I was waiting for my class to begin, I picked up a newsletter lying around, apply titled 'Dollar and Sense' and was hooked. It talked about kids who had made smart spending/saving decisions and had ended up opening their own ventures or had been able to go to grad school on no debt. Inspirtation, hello!!! I decided immediately I had to do something smart - financially, and the next day opened myself a Money Market account. I will talk more on this in the next topic, but, had to say, that was one of the smartest money moves I made, while in college.

So, knowing that we (yes, including me) sometimes gets caught in the impulsive buying of that one lil' cup of latte (hey, need that for staying awake), or that lil' t-shirt (gotta look hot at the party) or that zillion pack of gum (does my mouth smell), we need to bring our focus on these very spending habits and take a good look at it. I am going to lay down some simple pointers on how we can make a positive dent on our everyday lives and chores, and trust me, this will add up towards a brighter future:
  • Make sure to prepare a list and carry it before you head out to WholeFoods or Stop & Shop. While its ok to try on something that catches your eye, sticking to your list will keep you focused. Also, keep the company discount card in your car keys or wallet always as you could end up saving upto 50% easily on quite a few items
  • Carry a bottle of water and some candy with you always - you can buy them in bulk from Walmart or Costco. This way, when you are on the go, you will not feel tempted to grab a bag of chips or cookies or soda (average cost $3.50 per item), as they are jacked up quite a bit at the delis
  • I have mentioned this in my prior post, the joy and benefit of shopping online can be sweeter if you have coupons to apply. Before hitting that 'checkout and pay' button in a frenzy, just give Retailmenot a try. Type in the vendor name and you are bound to get some useful coupons which can save you from $10 to 20% on your order
  • Did you know that when you wash clothes, the highest cost is associated with heating up the water and, not with running the machine. A great tip is to always use cold water for your rinse cycle. Warm/hot water has little effect in this cycle and is a total waste
  • Another pointer to help you with keeping the sanity of your office clothes - if possible, hang shirts on a hanger and air dry them. They will remain stiff and almost crease proof. With pants, air dry them too.
  • Before you start going crazy with holiday shopping during holidays, a good way is to start making the list now. The biggest sale on item is when there is no sale at all. Yes, you read it right. Avoid those one-day mega sales or super Saturday bumper blowout, for those events are spending marathons. These sales need to cover the cost of advertising and extra staff present - and where do you think they get the mileage from? Instead, the sale section during non-sale periods provide you with items with the biggest discount. And, hey, don't forget to get working/buying on your holiday list now
  • If you own a house and have been paying PMI for sometime, there is a way to saving that $400 (approx.) a month charge. Write to your mortgage company if a) you have made payments on time for atleast 2 years b) have experience equity appreciation on your house c) have atleast 20% equity in your loan d) have made substantial improvements in your house that has caused appreciation - and ask them to adjust the loan to value ration. In most cases, due to the reasons listed above, the PMI will be dropped, and then you can also take a refund from your escrow account... Ma, if you reading this, please take action immediately!
  • Talking about home brings me to garage/yard sale. Take out few hours on a weekend and just sell those things that you don't need. Trust me, someone will find your 'handy veggie cutter' useful. So, enrich other's lives and your pocket at the same time. Remember, Shikha had a yard sale few weeks ago...I even blogged about it
  • If you are a phone junkie (unlike me) and are perennially tied to the handset, then call your cell phone company and ask them to move you to a better rate in line with your calling habits. You will surely come out a saver with this little phone call
  • Go to your local pharmacy store, like CVS, Walgreens, Rite Aid for your stationery supplies - definitely a lot cheaper than office supplies store
  • Make a habit to save a dollar a day, and actually stow the bill in an envelope or a secret place. Then, at the end of each month, deposit it in your savings account. This also helps you to create a 'Travel Fund' without dipping into your other working accounts
  • Can't say enough, unplug all electric devices at home and save 10-15% on your electricity bill
  • If you work in a multi-national firm, you are sure to have a discounted market place. If you don't know about it, please ask your HR department. These discounted market places offer good savings from magazines to airfare. So, please find out more. Oh, and because these big companies donate to the Trust/Endowment funds of most museums and theaters, you also get free entry to them as well. For example, I get free entry to the MET, National Museum of Natural History, Bronx Zoo, etc
These are just some ways to enable you to become a wiser and a thoughtful spender (notice, I didn't say saver). It takes a lil' conscious effort on your part, and then its a smooth ride. Any other tips you would like to share? Do let me know.

In the next part, I will be opining on personal finance and how I have made some of these decisions.

Happy Friday -- and savings!!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

It's all about the benjamins baby...

I am a little lazy today so won't type much, but I do want to give you a preview of what I want to write about next: Personal Finance.

Whoa! you might say, where is this coming from? Well, I have been thinking about this topic for quite some time and I feel that there should be an open dialogue on this. We generally don't talk much about money, let alone how to manage it, and that can hurt. Although there are many tips and tools out there, there isn't really a smooth way to take advantage of them. So, I will do my best to make it easier and smoother for you - taking the advantage part, that is. I will put forth a list of objectives, money management websites and quick n' efficient tips that will allow you (yes, including me) to make your financial life healthier. Ever since Shikha and I started our venture, managing our finances has become even more critical, and its better to start now than, say, 10 years later.
You with me? Good, now, show me the money!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Wish List and...Mistake

So, I made a mistake. I am a human, and I had to make one, right? But, it is not the mistake that I was most upset about, it was how I reacted to it. Right from the moment it was determined that I had indeed made an "oopsie", I immediately became silent and went on this "thought mode." I was so silent, that it bothered Kartik, who kept saying, "Why are you being so hard on yourself, just let it go and see what you can learn from it." Trust me, I accepted immediately that I had made a mistake, and even knew I wouldn't be repeating this again, but something about it kept bothering me and I couldn't shrug off the feeling.

A lot of searching, questioning later, I realized I was upset about the fact that I had made a mistake - aka - that I had perpetrated an act of doing something not right. Yes, me and mistake in the same sentence in the same breath---oooh, how could I be so stupid ---ooh, how could that happen! Yup, that was what was eating me up and after spending quite a few hours of being horribly silent and irritating the hell out of Kartik (sorry sweets, I couldn't help it then, but thank you for putting up with it), I had to bring myself down to earth and calm my sweet nerves.

Now, you would say, ofcourse Shivi you would have made other mistakes, is that how you react all the time? And, the answer is a resounding No. Its just that I was in this situation for the first time and I was so confident that I would take care of it in the best way. And, when I did not, and I realized that I had made a mistake, that's when my confidence shook and I did not take it lightly as I should have. Anyhow, I am fine now...I realize that however smart and right I want to be at all times and in all situations (including new ones), I won't really be. And, the best way is to be a little light on myself, learn from it, and move my focus to the present. I will watch myself, I promise, I will...I am a human after all : )

And, so here we are with the weekly wish list:

  • I wish I would not make any mistakes...hehhee, got you!! : )
  • I wish I would not think about food the day I am fasting...oh, those Wendy and Taco Bell ads totally kill me then
  • I wish people would stay optimist and positive about the economy - because that's what will get us through, really
  • I wish I had bought those Marc Jacobs shoes at Macys --- those heels were so yumm
  • I wish there were new episodes of Family Guy - everyday!!!
  • I wish people would drive with more patience and less rage -- would make everyone's life a lot easier and definitly a lot safer
That's all from me -- have a happy super Monday.


Sunday, August 2, 2009


The internet is here!! The internet is here! Oh, how I suffered when it was gone. Although, I managed to check emails on IPhone -- laptop is a whole different ballgame. But, not to worry, now everything is normal...phew!

As I had promised, I am putting up few pics of our collection - finally!! I am still in the process of taking good shots of each earring (just so I can do them justice), so please bear with me on the quality of the pic... : )

Most popular of all ...and blinged to the max! : )

Delicious purple...oh yes, gotta' have em'

Perfect to jazz up any outfit-- must wear

I call them green mangoes...oh, how cute

Turquoise magic...don't you love the color and the shape?

And, here we have Bhairavi modeling one of our unique pieces...thanks girl!

Knocked your socks off??? Do I hear a YES?

Well, hopefully these pictures will give you a glimpse of what we are about, and where we are going with Banno Raani. So, come by or call us, and let us make you feel pretty!!!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Birthday wish and Buttery roads

Today is Namita Aunty's Birthday (Shikha's mom-in-law). Now, before I wish her, I have to mention few things about her or it wouldn't be fair. Yeah, really.
Aunty has been such an important part of our lives that I cannot say enough. She has been very supportive, loving and fun to be with -- sometimes I forget that she is my sister's MIL. Oh, and do you know she cooks these awesome dishes? Yes, she does!
Aunty, if you are reading this, for all the brightness and warmth you have brought in our lives, may your life illuminate with this warmth and more! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!


Ok, ok, I was supposed to upload Banno Raani's Jhumke Collection pics today, but couldn't because there was an internet outtage in our area...oh, how it sucks!! Its funny how internet now dictates the proceedings of our lives.
So, right now, I am at Shikha's place - trying to squeeze in few minutes to type this - while everyone enjoys an awesome barbeque outside.
And had to mention this --- while driving toward Shikha's place, we use a Parkway whose roads recently got a facelift -- they are soo smooth and buttery that I exclaimed to Kartik, "I can't believe it is not butter!" Dorky, I know -- but, I had to use this phrase with the buttery description. You get the point, right?

Pray the outtage is fixed...



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