12 Android Apps that I Love



I run the risk of being called a phone addict (which my husband already does), but I just can't help it. With so many awesome apps at my disposal, how can I not take advantage of them πŸ˜‰ I love finding new apps, trying them out and then uninstall them if I don't like them within 2-3 minutes of use. Life's too short for crappy apps.

So here's a list of android apps that I use in my everyday life.


Inspiration 

(Instagram and Pinterest)


Be it fitness, beauty, art, lifestyle - Instagram and Pinterest are my favourite apps to find new ideas. This is a medium that shows me what our bodies our capable of, it shows me a world that I would love to explore one day, how art can improve if practiced every day and if I can't figure out how to style a black skirt, all I have to do is look up Pinterest ... this is a medium that has helped me set personal goals and keeps me upbeat to complete them as well.

If you are a fan of Yoga and Travel, don't forget to follow my account - rajlakshmihb

Checking out Art Transformation is my new favourite time pass ;)

A post shared by FOLLOW FOR MORE ART POSTS πŸ–ŒπŸ’πŸ“½ (@art.ig) on

I found this amazing beauty who made me look at long hair in whole different light :D Now I am really really serious about taking care of my hair :)



Photo Editing 

(Prisma, Z Galley, Layout)


Since I need to take a whole bunch of pictures for my blogs and Instagram, I need photo editing apps on the go.

Prisma - I use Prisma filters for those pictures which are bit shaky or has too much noise. Plus some of the finished pictures look very artistic with all the extra colors.

Z Camera and Layout (for Instagram) are two new apps I installed to compose and make collages, specially my Yoga photos.



Tracking

(ColorNote, Journey, Calendar)


ColorNote - From writing down grocery list to typing blog posts while commuting in train, ColorNote is an easy no-fuss app for times when you want to quickly write down something. 

Journey - I treat it as an online gratitude journal, where I write all the good things that has happened to me 😊 In a world filled with so much negativity and stress, we often tend to ignore the positive things that happen in our lives. Journey allows you to save photos along with a note.

My Calendar - This app has a very cute interface and I use it to track my health - Period dates, Acne, headaches etc etc.

Social 

(Facebook, Twitter)


Do I need to say anything more :) I mostly use these two apps for blogging - to share my blog link, find other bloggers and socialize with them. I love the blogging communities that I am a part of and cannot thank them enough for all the love and encouragement I have received. Write Tribe, BlogChatter and Blog-a-rhythm: these incredibly supportive and positive bunch of souls are the wind beneath my blog's wings :)

Reading

(StumbleUpon, Kindle)

StumbleUpon - I love the randomness of StumbleUpon, the articles that come up at the click of a button ranges from weird to absolutely brilliantly. 

Kindle - I am pretty sure all the book lovers will have this app installed on their phones for reading e-books. 

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Apart from them, I use Buffer to schedule to my tweets, ThinkDirty to find how toxic a product is, FitnessPal as a food diary and TripPlanner to check Sydney public transport timings.

I am currently looking for some great video editing tools, please recommend few in the comment section πŸ˜‡

Art Projects - All About Love

I came in this morning to find a whole bunch of heart stickers and colorful decorations around the office. Although I don't celebrate Valentine's day as such, it feels nice to see a hint of color in the otherwise monotonous cubicles. Given the current situation of our world, I don't mind the blatant display of love. We do need more love, more compassion ... more beautiful human emotions which are not driven by a bunch of pretty roses or an expensive gift. 

As the temperature in my suburb hit 47C this weekend, we stayed indoors on Sunday, indulging in our favorite hobbies. I was drawing while he assembled a shelf for our garden. In the background, played a Marathi horror-comedy movie, followed by numerous episodes of CID. Yes, I love CID (and I don't know why :P)

Here's a step by step progress on how I drew this Zentangle Inpsired Art. Since I didn't have any circular thingy in my craft box, I took a plate from the kitchen to draw a circle :)  Pinterest is a great app to look for new zentangle patterns. There are a lot of tutorials online on how to draw these patterns as well. Otherwise, you can come up with your own design. I don't follow any rule, just keep on drawing whatever I feel would match the theme.



I use black Unipens, mostly .01 to .03 to draw and .08 to color in. I tried using Sharpie, but the fumes from Sharpie makes me go all dizzy! The one reason why I rarely use them.



Have a great week ahead, while I go in search for some watermelon headgear.

Don't forget to Check out my previous art posts on Love:














Monday Musings
#MondayMusings

From Princess to Phlegm

I am always running late to catch the bus early morning. Blame it on late night blogging or my Liril style showering, but just 5 minutes before the arrival time, I would be applying my eyeliner. Now this is a process that you cannot rush, you might end up resembling the ghost from Grudge. But then there are days, absolute crappy days when you have just finished applying a perfect winged line but almost immediately a violent sneeze escapes your nostrils. Since I have small eyes, the eyeliner kinda reaches my eyebrows and temples and gently flows down my cheeks. In the mirror is a raccoon staring back. Needless to say, I miss the bus and have to walk to the train station because my husband is lying on the floor, breathless from laughing his a$$ off.



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 While traveling in the train, I sit next to all kinds of people. There was a girl licking her elbows, a guy digging gold in this nose, another girl sitting so close that her hair was in my armpits... well you got the drift. But sometimes I get to sit next to handsome dudes with jawline so sharp that it would give you a paper-cut. There was one such day, when I sat next to this Adonis like guy. Sharp clothes and eyes so blue! The doors had closed and the train had just started when I felt a terrible itch in my nose. That, my friend, was the indication of what kind of embarrassment lay in front of me. You see I am allergic to dust and anything that tickles my nose results in sneezes of highest order. In 2.5 seconds I turned from a tip-top Princess to Phlegm covered creature. I was running out of tissue papers. This tiny nose was producing mucus at a rate of ten-thousand disgusts per second. My nose was covered in 10 napkins. Partly to prevent any other dust particle from entering and partly to hide my face so that he never remembers the 'phlegm' girl. You cannot imagine the relief when the guy finally got up to alight at his stop. 

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Ever seen those people in public transport who cough so hard that they are about to spill their guts on the floor. Winters make me one such person. I keep a bunch of Strepsils in my bag for those auspicious occasions. But since I am always running out of my luck, it so happened that I was seized by a terrible itchy throat in a train so crowded that I had to stand on my toes. If I cough, I would be spitting on atleast 10 people. I was trying to control it and let out a small uukhu ukkhu. Immediately I was met with glares that kinda stopped the itch right in the throat. But you know how these itchy coughs are, the more you try to subdue, the more violent they become. I fervently ran my hand in the bag to find just one Lozenges left. The next half an hour was peaceful but as soon as the last drop of Strepsils dissolved in my mouth, the itch returned. And what followed was another twenty minutes of ear popping cough. I think I gave birth to my kidney that day.



Image Source: Google

[Fitness] Life's All Kinds Of Clumsy

"Lower, Lower... you need to go lower", he said exasperatedly.
"If I go any lower, I won't get up", I cried back.

Well, it's my fault, I asked my husband to count the number of proper push-ups I do in one set. I did 10 (or so I thought), but all I could hear was ONE. Yes, just one. When I disagreed, he called my push up a "lulu-pilu" push up and went on to do a big display of how a proper push-up is done. Uff the gall of this boy! After that, started the drill. 

I would be on the floor, trying to do one proper Push- Up, while he would just stare at me and shake his head. 

It took me back to the childhood days when Dad would call the three of us and say - give me 10. Immediately we would be on the floor, trying to outdo each other. In those younger days I could do chin ups too, but now I can barely hang down from the bar.

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The last time I tried to do EPK2 or Eka Pada Koundiyasana 2, was more than a year back. I had no arm strength and was really clumsy with my legs. Then last week, it happened. Just like that I was able to lift my legs. I believe all the Chaturanga Dandasana, push-ups and weight workouts helped me to achieve this. I still can't balance it for long and keep falling off... Practice, I need more practice.

                               


More core strengthening stuffs happening below.

The reflection looks so much better though



There's a Crow in the backyard! - Bakasana



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Remember how I wanted to do a Fallen Angel Pose. Well!! This is the closest I will ever get to break dancing. My legs are all kinds of awkward. 😜The journey to a beautiful pose, is surely not pretty 😹 (Not to mention that look of desperation before making a great fall)



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My quest for the perfect split continues. I am one Yoga Block away from touching the ground, but that itself might take months. For now, it's stretching and more stretching and taking care of my hamstrings. There was a time when I would push too hard, end up with knee pain and had to start all over again after resting for a week or so. But now, I am slowly learning to not stupidly rush things and understand the limitations of my body.



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I made my first inversion video, at least one where I didn't goof up. The struggle for a strong core - is real my dear friends.





5 Art Project Ideas

Beware: Art OverLoaded

Since I am an incorrigible procrastinator, and there are at least 15 incomplete drafts in my blogger dashboard, I thought of posting all the pending art project posts in one post.

This weekend I got a lot of stuffs done as I was mostly indoors. Sydney Summer is getting brutal every passing day. The temperature is soaring so high that the thought of going outside, even to buy grocery, makes me flinch.

In the comforts of my living room, with CID playing at the backdrop (Daya πŸ’—), I did stretches, push ups, drank watermelon juice and finished my drawings.

Keep scrolling, because there's quite a few (along with step by step photos of how I made them)

ZIA - Zentangle Inspired Art




STEP by STEP






My Doodle Girl

I have recently started learning oil painting (mostly from Youtube). This time I wanted to make something really colourful and random. So I just kept adding drawings, whatever caught my fancy. You can even find my poem in here. I had to wait for two days to let the oil paints dry, before continuing.



This would be a nice addition to my scrapbook

And here's another ZIA. I had a thick cardboard lying around for the past few months in my scrap collection :) Today was a good day to give it a makeover.

Remember the African Women I painted, here's a step by step look:







They look much better after framing :P


Mom and the Hair Affair

Backyard photo-shoot on a lazy day, mostly because my acne had finally healed and before new ones start popping out again, I wanted to change my Facebook profile picture.

I come from a family of ladies with long, jet black hair, cascading down their lithe frame, till the knees. That, according to my mom, is the ultimate hair goal. She doesn't understand colors like burgundy or auburn, neither she could comprehend if "Layering" is a hairstyle or a mishap. 

"Did the stylist got bored of cutting your hair!", she once asked my sister who came home with a stylish step cut. "It's too hot outside Mom", she replied with the ultimate defense line.

I still remember the day I got my first blond streaks and a haircut, after my sister coaxed me into it. I had just got down from the car and my mom was waiting at the porch. I was visiting home after 7 months.  She looked at me with all the love and care of the world, and then, slowly, I could see her expression change. She stared and stared some more. Her eyebrows had started reacting too. "Ramo Krishno Ramo Krishno", she uttered in disbelief and went straight inside the house. I was pretty sure it was to get her world famous broom. 

And yes, that was the case, but that broom landed on my sister because my mom blamed her for the 'debacle'. There was some chasing around the house as my sister ran for her life while I explained to my dad that it's not mud on hair but a color. My parents can be so cute at times.

That night I sneaked into my sister's room to give her a life saving tip. "Remember the plan to add blue streaks in your hair", I said, "I don't believe it's a good idea". πŸ˜‚

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That was in 2010. Last Dec, I tried to color my hair myself the first time, a 'soft black' it said on the package. But looks like my hair is a little too dark and nothing happened even after keeping the mixture on for 30 minutes (which I now realize wasn't enough). There's a slight hint of Brownish hue as you can see from the picture, but is visible only in the sunlight. There goes my money!! Sigh. My Mom, of course, isn't aware for my experiments πŸ˜‰

Monday Musings #MondayMusings

#MondayMusings

Happiness Is ...

Happiness is - doing the things you love. 

Happiness is ...

1) Decorating the living room with your own paintings



I have always loved african woman paintings. Always attracted to the life in bright colors and swaying forms. So since I was already in artistic gear, the first two days of the new year were spent painting my heart out. These are not my original ideas but inspired from the ones I found on Pinterest.

2) Receiving Postcard from Japan.




It's been years since I had received a postcard of any sort. So imagine how delighted I was when I received this lovely message from my friend in Japan. Thank you so much Mel.

3) Hiking in the mountains


Fitzroy Falls, Australia


4) Nailing the Side Crow



Side Crow was super tough for me when I first started. In fact, I even gave up practicing it. A lot of wall handstands and weight workout later, I could finally balance this crow pose variation. And when I tried it again, I wasn't dipping anymore, it was straighter than before. This is a step towards nailing one of my Yoga Goals - the Fallen Angel.

Check out the video I followed to get into Side Crow Yoga Pose.


And, of course, FRIDAYS make me happy! πŸ˜‡

Do share in the comment section what activities keep you Happy? 😁

Hey! look what I made

My baby succulents have found a new home yaayyyy πŸ‘Έ 

I am so excited to show you these DIY Concrete planters that I made with some spare cement and then painted both the pots white. The finishing isn't really good, but I hope it would be better next time.

I followed the tutorial here - DIY concrete Pots

You will need:
Cement
Containers or cardboard if you want a specific shape. For the second one I used a geometric pattern as shown in this post
White Paint and brush


DIY Concrete Pot
After 24 hours, once the cement had dried, I just had to twist and turn the plastic to take the mould out.

Place a weight on the middle box if it starts floating up.
Do let me know your views in the comment section.

5 New Things Before the Year Ends

Year end always messes with my mind. It's like running against time, fumbling through checklists and goals, trying to tick atleast few of them. As a result, a lot of new things are happening in my life right now.

1) You must have already read about my experiment with DIY hairstyle, how I cut my hair myself to get this beach-y wavy sort of look following a Youtube tutorial.



2) I am learning to drive (which was pretty big on my to-do list). All's good, except I forget to slow down while taking a turn. My husband has decided to paste "L" stickers all around the car, to warn people on the road. πŸ˜‚

3) I have turned pesco-vegetarian. Except seafood and eggs, I have stopped eating all other kind of non vegetarian food. No more Xialongbao, no more Tonkatsu bowls. This is a conscious decision and I hope I follow it through. I have even limited my dairy intake to only yogurt - but that's because I believe dairy is causing my forehead acne. So now my favourite snack is Scrambled eggs stuffed in Avocado.



4) The gaping space beneath the old-fashioned staircase had been bothering me all through the year. A trip to Ikea was enough to solve that problem. The bookcase is a perfect fit. 😍



5) The Oil paints were bought eons ago. Unused, unopened ... but it was time. The last week of the year turned me into a painter too (a rubbish one though).



Yup, it's on the wall too... My husband is left with no other choice 😝
Is there anything new that you are trying just before the year ends?

How to: Cut hair at Home

It's been a while since I had a haircut and my hair was getting really really long, along with a lot of split ends. I was waiting for my annual visit to home before I could finally chop off my mane. You know how moms can get so unreasonably clingy and possessive about their daughter's hair.  Shh don't tell her! πŸ˜‰

My last haircut was over a year ago, which, on a rainy afternoon, I had done myself (check it out here Fashion Vashion). Thankfully, it wasn't a disaster. This time around, I wanted to add some layers as well. My hair is naturally wavy, unless I dry them in the sun (yeah I find it strange too).

So this is how my hair looked BEFORE the cut. 



Looking for DIY hair tricks, I opened Youtube, which in modern world has the answer to all of life's questions. And I found this cool hack. 

Frankly, I was completely skeptical at the beginning. I mean who cuts their hair like this. But since I am known to do weird stuffs, I went ahead and followed the steps.


Youtube Channel - Bebexo - Thank you so much for posting this video!!

The best thing about this cut is it DOESN'T change the length of your hair. Yeah, that's right. That's like magic... to have some layers without actually changing the length... how awesome is that. Those with long hair will know what I am taking about. 

But I still went ahead and snipped off the ends separately. 

How I did it: After washing and conditioning, I towel dried my hair. Applied a bit of hair serum and combed them thoroughly. Be gentle while doing so. My hair were still wet when I cut them, that's to make sure they remain straight and not curl.

And this is how it looks now πŸ˜€ 

I have no idea on how to pose for hair photos, so I just looked left and right 

I love the curls and how it makes my hair look more voluminous. (I wish I had done a better job at combing my hair thoughπŸ™ˆ) In the above picture I haven't used any styling gel or curler (which you can obviously make out πŸ˜). I only oil my hair with Keo Karpin whenever I feel they have become dry. These days I am into this beachy-wavy look (not that I have a choice), so my messy hair actually works for me. My mom, of course, doesn't agree.

Do you cut your hair at home? What's you trick to tame your mane? Please share in the comments section.

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