Which date works for you?

We are sure that anyone who has ever tried to schedule a meeting or an event has had to do a fair bit (in lots of cases an extreme bit) of running around to get folks to agree on a date that works for all. Agreeing on a meeting date / time can be more stressful & time-consuming than the meeting itself.

While there are a few solutions within your email system - we recently came across a simple yet effective solution which address the problem that plagues work places across the world - and like all the other recommendations that we do - this one is free to use as well. :-)

WhichDateWorks.com takes the hassle out of planning, and we loved the simplicity with which the complex & time-consuming issue has been addressed. Hats off to the team that has put this together. Use it and let is know what you think. 

You should know: all recommendations that we make are out of sheer love of taking away stress from our daily lives be it at home or at work, and to bring much needed aaram into our lives. AaramShop has no commercial interests behind any recommendations that we make on this blog, and if you know of any good stuff that should be highlighted here, do write to us.

Exploring the emotional content in colours through sound.

Here is some awesome music to relax with - released today! - the depth of sounds will liven up your Sunday and the weeks ahead. The music is free to download :-).  

The "creator" A/J (Ajit Narayan) is a guitarist and composer based out of Bangalore. A sucker for intellectually stimulating music and melodies, is in a prolific phase of creating some great sounds in the last 2 1/2 odd years. 

You can connect with Ajit @ajit_aj

If you like the music (which we know you will :-) please do "Play it Forward" by gifting the link for download to your friends. 

How Technology Can Help You Avoid Long Lines in Stores

You know the feeling of wanting to come home after a long day of work only to realize you need to go to the store to pick up groceries or other things.  When you get to the store, the items you need are scattered all around; finally, as you are about to check out, the lines are backed up along the aisles.  There has to be a way to save you the time and effort, right?

Online shopping has been around for over 10 years now.  Back then people had to be at their home computers, but now consumers can shop anywhere.  As the online market grows as well as the use of mobile devices, we are seeing more retailers offering innovative ways to attract consumers to buy from their stores without people physically shopping in the stores.

Now 200 AaramShops to choose from.

There are now over 200 AaramShops to choose from - and that could mean aaram to a lot of folks. The ease of shopping for groceries and other household essentials has never been easier for folks who are within the coverage area of these AaramShops. 

AaramShops also take away the pain of faceless eCommerce, where a shopper ends up needing to deal with machines rather than people - AaramShops are your friendly neighborhood retailer - who have been servicing the neighborhood for years, at times for generations. 

They are the trusted & reliable faces that you are well aware off and are comfortable with - the additional advantages that AaramShop brings you are the increased convenience of having access to a wide range of brands & therefore choice and the huge advantage of grocery shopping when time allows.

Value@Home Vouchers - Register Now

AaramShop introduces another little convenience to make your monthly shopping groceries fun and rewarding. 

Value@Home Voucher Booklet - ensure that you get one.
When you register on AaramShop, you will receive a monthly free voucher booklet (every month), that will carry a number of especially created offers & promotions by leading brands across the country. If you want to use any of the offers all you need to do is contact your preferred AaramShop in your neighborhood and redeem the same.

If you are already registered on AaramShop, you need not worry; you will receive the free Value@Home Vouchers booklet in your mail at your registered address. The vouchers would be mailed to registrants in the cities where AaramShops are currently available (and we are working hard to increase the number of cities).

REGISTER NOW and ensure you do not miss out on this Value@Home initiative.

Tips for being a more light-hearted parent.

Here is some great advice from Gretchen Rubin on being a more light-hearted parent: less nagging, more laughing. Here are some tips—many suggested by her friends—that have helped.

1. At least once a day, make each child helpless with laughter.
2. Folk wisdom holds that unless you want to do something every day, never do it three times in a row. So when the Big Girl had the flu, I lay in bed with her until she fell asleep for two nights. But not three nights.
3. Sing in the morning. It’s hard both to sing and to maintain a grouchy mood, and it sets a happy tone for everyone—particularly in my case, because I’m tone deaf and my audience finds my singing a source of great hilarity.

Getting your child out the door in the morning, on time

If you have school-age children, you’re well aware that some mornings can be difficult. Even highly organized children have a few mornings each month where there is a melt down and things fall apart.

Here are a few tips to help get your children (and you) out the door on time:

Is your child getting enough sleep? When children go through growth spurts, they often need more sleep than at other times. If their courses are more difficult this year than in the past, they might need more sleep to mentally process all that they’re learning. Talk with your child’s pediatrician to determine what is the best amount of sleep for your child.

Are parents ready before children? It’s easier to help your child in the morning if you’re already up and prepared for your day. The younger the child, the more important this is.

Here is a place in Goa that we highly recommend.

Art Escape in Goa
Are you looking to unwind and getaway from the city life that’s draining the vivacity and energy out of you?

Do you yearn to let go, let loose and try something new for a change but could never find the time or the right opportunity? 

Well that’s where Art Escape fits in! 

We highly recommend this unique destination in Goa- it is well packaged & offers the visitors a number of workshops to learn and appreciate finer things in life, starting with eco-friendly living. (they are also priced so that you don't have to sell your car to be there:-)

A laid back experience that we highly recommend - more so because it is created & nurtured by a great bunch of guys.

Check out their page on Facebook & their website for the various activities that are planned @ Art Escape.

The Simple Meal

When life gets busy and stressful and you feel pulled in multiple directions, meal planning is often the first system to break down at home. You want someone else to get food on the table. You want someone else to clean up afterward. You want someone else to make it happen without adding any stress to your already complicated life.

Eating out at a restaurant or pulling through a drive-thru are short-term solutions to what is hopefully a short-term situation. They’re convenient and won’t do too much damage to your finances or waistline as long as they’re rare occurrences. If eating out at a restaurant and pulling through a drive-thru become your standard mode of operation, however, you’ll realize these short-term conveniences have long-term consequences.

While AaramShop simplifies your ordering process of the ingredients read more on Uncluttered about a recommended strategy for that simple meal.

String of Shining Pearls - Some great music to relax with.

You can engage with GD Prasad on Twitter @thegdprasad

Teaching toddlers about organizing

Parents often wonder what chores and responsibilities are applicable for toddlers. They want to start teaching their children about putting away their things, but they also don’t want to bestow unreasonable demands upon two, three, and four year olds.

Young children are eager to be independent, and helping your child learn skills that foster this independence as well as acquire valuable organizing concepts are a great place to start the teaching process. The following are a handful of suggestions from Uncluttered for responsibilities that are appropriate for toddlers and some recommendations for teaching these skills.

Coming back to work after vacation without chaos and stress

Returning to work after a vacation or long weekend rarely goes smoothly. If you’re oblivious to the chaos because you’re still in a vacation haze on your first day back, the mayhem will settle in on day two or three. Your to-do list is more extensive than usual, the backlog of email seems overwhelming, and your reaction time to even the smallest of problems is as if you are immersed in a bowl of thick maple syrup.

The easiest way to avoid this stress and disorder is to prepare for it before you leave:
  • Notify the people you regularly interact with that you will be out of the office. When people know you’ll be gone, they often don’t try to contact you for the small things. This helps significantly to reduce voice mails and emails for things that are resolved before you return.
  • Clear your schedule so you don’t have any meetings or appointments the first day (or two) you’re back at the office.
  • Read more here

150 and counting.

There are now 150 AaramShops across the NCR region which cover extensive parts of New Delhi, Gurgoan, NOIDA, Greater NOIDA, Ghaziabad, Faridabad & Bengaluru.

Please visit this link to view the exact coverage details. If you are in the coverage area, please go ahead and bring a little aaram into your lives & if your neighborhood is still outside the coverage area, do help us identify your preferred independent neighborhood retailer and maybe we can bring him on board for you.

Do join in the attempt to strengthen your local economy and to keep the neighborhood vibrant.

You click they deliver.

Came across this note recently, obviously written by a much harassed parent, and thought it would worth sharing:

"" I have been a fool.

I admit it.

I’ve routinely pushed nearly 200 pounds worth of children plus the weight of a week’s groceries in a shopping cart. With beads of sweat on my furrowed brow, I’ve trudged aisle-after-aisle. 
Inside…underneath…on the sides…it was my mission to cram something…cram everything into each nook and cranny of the shopping cart. Not to mention my back creaking and straining -especially when I had to turn the cart around.

By now you’re probably wondering why I titled this article “I Have Been a Fool.” The scenario above is unpleasant -maybe even dreadful, but foolish? Short of growing my own food, going grocery shopping (sometimes with kids in tow) has been just about inevitable. No mother can consider herself exempt from periodically undertaking this pilgrimage.

At least that used to be the case…""

Now there is relief in form of AaramShop