Do Not Disturb… DND [Guest Post]

Hello everyone! I am really excited to welcome Anagha Yatin Joshi from Mocktail Mommies and Canvas with Rainbow on my blog. She is an an engineer and management graduate by training, and a mother to a growing teenager son and a pre-teen daughter.  She loves reading, traveling and is an accomplished bathroom singer! She indulges in a lot of chitter-chatter with her friends, mostly Mocktail Mommies buddies (yes, they are 8 of them!). I hope you enjoy her fun chatter here.

Over to you, Anagha…

It was the month of October. The Rain God was lashing the city with all its fury and might. Watching the incessant rains, someone was getting upset beyond manageable limits. Soon the living room was filled with occasional rants and grunts. The rumbling of the celestial bodies was matched with an equal shout from Master Grumpy bear…. “Hey rains, you…DND!”. I lowered the book, that I was reading, a little bit from my sight to take a stock of situation.

Here was my son, standing tall but all upset, his nostrils flared up! He had made grand plans for four days… the much-awaited holidays after a grueling fortnight of exams. There was nothing in our ability that we could do to stop the march of the mighty dripping soldiers though…

But what fancied my attention was “DND”… “Do Not Disturb!”

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Innumerable occasions flashed from my memory as if competing with the lightening in the skies. All were my very own moments of utter frustration for not getting my “DND” tag honoured. Now before you start fancying that I am going to complain about the incidences of irresponsible staff at the hotels where I might have stayed during certain journeys, let me caution you that its not the case…

I welcome every new month with a great fan fair. Only reason being, I love monthly grocery shopping at the nearby super mart. A predecessor to this is a mandatory stock taking. With a pencil and a chit of paper… Oh yes, I belong to ancient times; I use pen and paper for making the list and not the smart phone. So I usually set out on my mission to prepare the list. 

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While making the list, I am half present in my kitchen and half way already transported to the super mart. The grocery, the toiletries, the bakery, the dairy products and many more sections of the house, kitchen and the super mart are at once floating in different spheres of my mind. 

A big DND is written in Bold and Italics all over my face.

As the fate could have it, it is never honoured. Either the doorbell announces a casual visitor or my own clan comes up with some emergency situation, mostly their fights or the man of the house needing an urgent detail on phone! And the result? I am bewildered with two toothpastes staring in my face when I wish to fit in the one recently purchased next to them. The mosquito repellent refills are in the mood to repel any more addition to the stack. The grains declare the flood situation as the containers are filled till their brim. 

Poor me, I am so at loss of space and words courtesy my list that was never done to my satisfaction! Post my monthly grocery shopping sojourn, it then takes me ages to make sure that kitchen cabinets do not explode with the deluge of surplus grocery packets!!!

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One more from a real long list…I love mathematics since time immemorial and am so proud of being a mathlete! But this very pride bites the dust when I am facing the green grocer and trying to calculate the exact amount to be paid for 650 grams of apple or 800 grams of lady fingers! When I am busy doing some mental maths, believe me at those times, I find it far more complicated than rocket science. 

DND flag is up on face by this time, which the green grocer fails to recognize, so do the fellow buyers. The honking on the street by the vehicles also join this gang.  They all collectively dishonor my right to privacy for calculations! Sans any pen and paper, I then try to figure it out in air. The mobile rings at that very precarious moment. All the numbers and calculations done so far, vanish from the air screen. By the time I reach out to the mobile in my purse, which is like “Alibaba’s den”, the ring dies out. Gone are the numbers and the caller. The green grocer then takes pity on me. No wonder most of the times he says, “Madam, you finish purchasing first. Don’t bother about “hisab”!” DND flag is then hoisted down, so very unceremoniously and with a pain of great defeat! 

Have you faced retreating of the DND flags? Do let me know… One thing is for sure, though they are signs of utter frustration, they make for a good laugh in hindsight!!

This post is written for the December blog hop #mymojo with Shalzmojo

Linking up for #wordsante with Namysaysso for every post deserves some love.

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All pics courtesy Pixabay and ImagesBazaaar

If We Were Having Coffee… 4th December

COFFEE CHATS

If we were having coffee, I’d greet you with a hug and thank you for joining me on this cold December morning. I’d ask you to take a seat and grab a coffee of your choice and let’s catch up.

 If we were having coffee, I’d ask you if you also find it incredulous that it’s December already!! I have a hard time believing this. Where did the year fly by?! But on the other hand, I have been really looking forward to December. Yes, Aaryan came back from his boarding school on 1st for this three month winter vacation.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that since the last 4 days, my schedule has gone for a toss. I am spending a lot of time in kitchen, of course sonny boy is helping me out and is my sous chef. Even before the first meal of the day is done with, we are planning for the second meal and the in-between meals too. So there’s a lot of cooking with chatting happening in our kitchen.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that Aaryan and I are on a TV watching spree. We watched Schindler’s List, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Rock On 2, The Shallows and re-runs of The Big Bang Theory and F.R.I.E.N.D.S.  which is fun always.

If we were having coffee, I’d share with you that recently, I bought Amazon Fire Stick to watch the popular series on Netflix. We watched 2 episodes of Narcos which is about the criminal exploits of Colombian drug kingpins and first episode of Breaking Bad which is about a chemistry teacher who discovers that he has cancer and decides to get into the meth-making business to repay his medical debts. Though both the series are pretty interesting and gripping, they had quite a out-of-the-blue explicit raunchy scenes which I certainly wouldn’t want to watch with my teen. Spending some quality time together turned truly awkward. Gosh!!  Can you suggest any family-teen friendly series on Netflix?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have not read a single word since the last 4 days and that’s bugging me a bit. I still have a lot to read in order to complete my 2017 Reading Challenges. I hope, I am able to manage my time better from whatever is left after all chores, cooking and connecting with Aaryan.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that during my last trip to Aligarh, I squeezed in a few hours to travel to Khurja. Khurja is some 50 kms from Aligarh and is the ceramics and pottery city. I have been eyeing ceramics from this city for long and I grabbed the opportunity. I bought some lovely mugs and cups, platters and trays at dirt cheap rates. I am so loving my loot. I cant wait to travel to this small city again. Incidentally, I didn’t get to buy locks from Aligarh though I lost the one for my bag there!

If we were having coffee, I’d take your leave, for the kitchen beckons me, again!! Here’s wishing you a fabulous week and see you soon again! Take care!

He Provides the Homeless a Second Chance at Life #WATWB

When 40-year-old Shankar Mugalkhod’s phone rang notifying him of an emergency, the ambulance driver rushed immediately to help a 55-year-old homeless HIV positive woman who was breathless and required immediate medical help.

Shankar Mugalkhod helps homeless

Picking the double-amputee right from her doorstep, he dropped her to the nearest civic hospital in the neighbourhood in his ambulance. In fact, he paid for her medicines too.

He has helped numerous homeless and abandoned persons without families in the past, say doctors from across the city who treat patients admitted by him in a Hindustan Times report.

Apart from rushing many to the hospitals, Shankar has also taken upon himself to perform final rites for those that lose the battle to their ailments.

The best part is that Shankar has been doing this selfless service since the last 18 years without claiming credit or attracting attention from the media.

When asked about what prompted him to do this service, Shankar says his childhood marred by poverty pushed him to aid the destitute.

Talking about his difficult formative life, he states how he would go to bed empty stomach and live on clothes and footwear from garbage bins.

While he first started rushing patients to hospitals in cabs and auto-rickshaws, NGO Bombay Teen Challenge, donated him an ambulance to carry on his work.

Many times, cops reach out to Shankar to help homeless and abandoned people reach hospitals and shelter homes.

Just one phone call away, Shankar is always on duty armed with his ambulance and stretcher and a road map of the nearest civic hospital.

What I like about this real life story is that when faced with hard and challenging times, you can either let your situation define you, let it destroy you or let it strengthen you.  The choice is yours to make. Shankar has chosen empathy and compassion towards the destitute because he has walked miles in their shoes!

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This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light. This month I’m helping Damyanti out as a co-host, along with extraordinary bloggers  Inderpreet Uppal, Sylvia Stein, Susan Scott and Andrea Michaels —please hop over to check out their WATWB posts as well as from other WATWB participants for a dose of feel-good to last you a whole month. You’ll be happy you did!

Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!

Trees of Faith -Thursday Tree Love #5

Trees of Faith Salasar Balaji Rajasthan

At Salasar Balaji, Churu, Rajasthan.

“There’s a reason we refer to “leaps of faith” – because the decision to consent to any notion of divinity is a mighty jump from the rational over to the unknowable, and I don’t care how diligently scholars of every religion will try to sit you down with their stacks of books and prove to you through scripture that their faith is indeed rational; it isn’t.
If faith were rational, it wouldn’t be – by definition – faith.
Faith is belief in what you cannot see or prove or touch.
Faith is walking face-first and full-speed into the dark.
If we truly knew all the answers in advance as to the meaning of life and the nature of God and the destiny of our souls, our belief would not be a leap of faith and it would not be a courageous act of humanity; it would just be… a prudent insurance policy.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Do you believe in the power of faith?

Linking this to Thursday Tree Love, a photo feature hosted by Parul Thakur. If you would like to play along, post a picture of a tree on your blog and link up. Let’s come together to appreciate the beautiful nature around us.

If We Were Having Coffee… 17th November

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If we were having coffee, I would thank you for taking the time to meet me here over a cup of coffee.  I hope you are looking forward to a relaxed weekend.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I am suffering from that dreadful blogger’s blog. I have religiously stared at the blank screen for long periods of time, every day of the week, hoping for the grey cells and fingers to work in coordination. Alas! They refused to look in the same direction. I cajoled and begged them, but they haughtily turned their back on me. Left with no alternative, I wandered around with self-pity and despair and snapped at everyone I met. I drank gallons of tea and coffee to wake up my dead grey cells and aimlessly read posts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. When that didn’t help in any way, I picked up my Kindle and read.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that though I didn’t write a single word on this blog of mine, but I read a LOT of words. I have read some 95 books from January 2017 till date. I still have to read 30 books by December 31st to complete my 2017 book reading challenge target. It’s a bit challenging,  but am sure I will be able to do it.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that this week, I read a lot of my old posts. I observed that some of my posts are absolute gold (God, I cant believe that I had written them!) and most are absolutely cringe worthy (God, I cant believe that I had written them!) Do you love and hate your old blog posts?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I had an amazingly unbelievable experience at the passport office last week. My passport was nearing expiry, so I went to passport office last Friday to renew it. I had got an appointment for 11 am. When I saw the queue, I had a mini heart attack. But was surprised to see that the entire queue for that time slot was sent at one go. Once we entered the office, there were half a dozen counters to cater to some 20-25 of us. In no time, I was guided from one officer to another and in flat 50 minutes I was out of the office. The officers were so professional, efficient and courteous that I was simply blown away. The icing on the cake was when I received a SMS at 4 pm stating that my passport has been printed and despatched via Speed Post. Yes, my passport got renewed in a day. And I got it in my hands on Monday. Now isnt that truly impressive!!

If we were having coffee, I’d wish you a great weekend while I’d go and pack my bags to leave for my work trip to Aligarh. It would be my first trip to this small city in Uttar Pradesh which is famous for locks. I don’t need locks but I am surely going to pick one or two.

If we were having coffee, we would have been draining the last dregs of our cups, and it would be time for us to say goodbye. I wish your coming week is better than the last and that you will stop by the comments and let me know what you’ve been up to!

Until next time… ciao!

Be a #YesMom – Say Yes to Immunity @Immuno_Boosters

Recently, I came across a video on social media that showed a social experiment where moms saw the effects of saying ‘no’ to their kids. I wondered, did those moms become Yes Moms and was it difficult to become a #YesMom after years of saying no? I was delighted to what came next…

This video made me think and reflect on how I speak to my child and what impact it might have on his young mind.

How many times a day do I say ‘No’ to my child? I think, a hundred times, at least. That’s because I am that over-cautious mother. I believe that I must deny his requests which has the potential to harm him. So, I use the word ‘No’ liberally every day. But I do realize that this may have a negative impact on my child.

We all know that ‘No’ is restrictive and limits the boundaries of a child, and ‘Yes’ is all about encouragement and positivity. But is it easy to say ‘Yes’ more often?

Saying ‘Yes’ when the child wants to eat ice-creams first thing in the morning or gets soaking wet while sprinkling water in the garden or doesn’t want to eat fruits and vegetables, can be challenging. That’s because I worry about him getting sick. Since his immunity is still in the growing stage, my child is vulnerable to infections. Poor immunity with frequent infections may impact his physical and mental growth, hence I resort to saying ‘No’.

A healthy body begins with a healthy immune system. A regular balanced diet is the best way to help prevent disease and infections. The food that my kid eats may not be providing him with the nutrients he needs to have a strong immune system, this could be because of food adulteration or fussy habits. Thankfully, I came across a nutritional supplement which I believe can plug these dietary gaps and build my kid’s immunity.

ActivKids Immuno Boosters from Cipla is a unique nutritional supplement for kids that helps build their immunity. It is available in a tasty choco-bite format (you can give this to your kid as is!) which gives up to 100% RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) of key Immunity Nutrients:

  • Vitamin A – Anti-infective vitamin
  • Vitamin C – Anti-immune stress vitamin
  • Vitamin B9 – Anti-cold vitamin
  • Iron – Anti-microbial mineral
  • 7 essential nutrients like B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, D, Zinc

The nutrients present in ActivKids Immuno Boosters help build Immunity in the following ways:

  • Provides immune strength to fight germs
  • Helps in blood formation
  • Helps in formation of immune cells
  • Protects body cells from damage
  • Strengthens skin’s defence system

Each choco-bite contributes to less than 1% calorie from sugar of the total daily energy requirement and thus presents no risks of dental caries and high calorie intake.

ActivKids Immuno Boosters is available for kids for two age groups of children, 4-6 Years and 7+ years.

After watching the video, I decided to give it a try. The nutrients in ActivKids Immuno Boosters will strengthen the immune system of my child and I may not have to worry or stress about keeping him infection free and healthy.

So I started my #YesChallenge journey by building strong immunity for my child, I would definitely advise other moms to take up the #YesChallenge for positive and liberal development of your child. Yes, my child’s immunity is something that is always on my mind and I’m sure it is the case with all of you. Which is where nutrition become very important and can make a whole gamut of difference. But with ActivKids Immuno Boosters in your pocket, you can now keep saying “Yes” while knowing that your child’s immunity has been strengthened.  

I have joined the #YesMom brigade. You can be a part of it too. Let’s bring about a positive and healthy transformation in not only in our life but that of our children too. BE A #YesMom TODAY!

Do share your #YesChallenge stories with me in the comment section and you could get a chance to attend #YesMom day with Mandira Bedi.

 

If We Were Having Coffee… 7th November

 

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If we were having coffee, I’d welcome you to another round of coffee catch-up here on my blog. There has been so much happening in my life these days, and I’m sure a lot is happening in your life too!

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that last weekend, I was at Vadodara for work and met a dear blogging buddy, Vinodini Iyer. You know, the switch from the virtual world to the real world was so smooth for us. We met at That Place and we were so comfortable talking as though we had known each other for years, which we actually did!!

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If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have met quite a few blogging buddies. I have met Vinita Apte, Tulika Singh, Sulekha Rawat, Shalini Baisiwala, Nibha Gupta, Rekha Dhayani, Kajal Kapur in their respective cities,  Swathi Ram and Chiky Kadambari at Jaipur and have even met Scorpria in Kuwait. I have met Shailaja V, Vidya Sury, Sid Balachandran, Roshan Radhakrishnan, UK, Vinita Bahl, Ritu Lalit, Seema Rao, Maitreni Mishra, Rahul Prabhakar, Meenakshi J Iyer, Sonal Mathur, Pawan Soni, Arvind Passey and many more during the various Blogger Meets.

If we were having coffee, I’d share with you that it is always exciting to cross the border from virtual to real world. There is a bit of apprehension and a lot of anticipation. The thing that plays on your mind is that will their style of communication and personality, match with the one that shines through the words on their blog?

If we were having coffee, you would like to know my experience of meeting bloggers in real life, right? Well, it has always been like meeting old friends. I would say that the virtual blogging buddies are friends for two reasons. (1) Because they are lovely people and that is why we connected in the virtual world and (2) because we share the same passion of blogging. On our blogs we share our deepest and truest self, which we may not be the case with most of the people around us in real life. Since we have been reading each other for long, we are able to relate with each other and that connects us more strongly.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask you if you have met any virtual friends and how was your experience?

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that last week I have had two separate incidents where my real life ‘friends’ acted like ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing. And that they have been acting nastily on and off has truly saddened and disheartened me. All this while, I tried to brush their bad behavior under the carpet, but now, I believe I need to let go of such toxic relationships for my peace of mind. Easier said than done, I really need to do that!

If we were having coffee, what would you talk about? Please share a snippet of your day/life with me below in the comments!

If we were having coffee, I’d thank you for joining me here today and hope we meet soon again. Until then…

#RiotGrams October 21-31, 2017

And this is the last and the final edition of my posts on Instagram for the Book Riot Instagram Challenge #RiotGrams. This was my first month long challenge on Instagram and I loved the experience. 

Each day was met with excitement or a groan. Books for some prompts were available with me and some weren’t. So, I had to literally look for the books and buy the Kindle versions. Yes, I am pretty committed that way! And I’m proud to say I did not miss a single day of this month long challenge! 

The part of this challenge was to discover such diverse books. For instance, I have made a long list of Great Book Club Reads and Chilling and Thrilling books. This challenge has increased the length of my TBR list which is already a foot long.

Also, a challenge like this is a great way to start using Instagram especially if you are a newbie like me. It pushed me to be more creative. and generate content for Instagram. And best of all, I’ve made a lot of new connections with some lovely folks, from all over the world.

Check out my take on the bookish prompts from October 21st to October 31st, 2017.

Excited by the success of this challenge, I am taking up Fat Mum Slim’s November Photo a Day Challenge which starts tomorrow. I would love to have your company for this challenge, after all, the more the merrier. You may like to check out the details here or here.

Are you game for Fat Mum Slim’s November Photo a Day Challenge?

Which one is your favorite from this lot! Which books have you read from the collection here. Do share in the comment box below.

If Were Having Coffee… 31st October

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If were having coffee, I’d wish you a hello and thank you for stopping by for a cup of coffee and some conversations here.

If were having coffee, I’d tell you that today I woke up feeling, “Aah! I don’t want to get out of bed and I don’t want to do anything!” Actually, I had this feeling yesterday as well. Yesterday, I thought, that this was due to the weekend work trip. So, I spent the entire most of the day, relaxing and reading in bed. I thought I deserved the day off for I had worked hard the previous day and that too on a weekend. I had a good time catching up on my reading and generally lazing around. But at the end of the day, there was this little feeling that I didn’t do anything meaningful.

If were having coffee, I’d tell you that his lack of motivation today morning despite all the rest yesterday bothered me. I ignored the long To-Do list which was staring at me and called up KG who is away for work. Among other things, I told him about this lack of motivation despite a hundred tasks looming large over my head. He coolly told me, ‘there are always 2 roads in front of you but you can only take one road. Decide for yourself which road you want to take today, the one leading towards productivity with satisfaction at the end of the day or a lazy day with instant gratifications but disappointment at the end of the day.’ And suddenly, it was clear to me about the road that I would be taking today.

If we were having coffee, I’d share that isn’t it wonderful to find that talking to someone outside of the situation can help sort a lot of things which you are not able to do with self-talk. Thanks to KG’s wise words, I ticked off a few things from my list and that included this post too.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I will be completing my Instagram #RiotGrams challenge today. It was lovely looking for books for the various prompts and sharing everyday and of course connecting with hundreds of other book lovers and their books. I will be posting the third and final round-up of this month long challenge on my blog in a day or two. I hope you have seen the earlier 2 posts here and here.

If we were having coffee, I’d ask if you’d be interested in Fat Mum Slim’s November Photo a Day Challenge? The prompts for the entire month are given in this picture below.

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Playing along is really simple! Just look at the list each day and take a photo using the prompt as inspiration. So, for example, Day 1 is BLUE, so all you have to do is take a photo of something BLUE! You can do it on Instagram and Facebook and also on your own blog. You can check out all the details here.

I would love to do this November Photo a Day Challenge but only if I have company. So does this interest you? Let me know.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that it’s getting late as I have to catch up on the other items on my list. It’s been good to chat with you and get this ramble off of my chest. Thank you for listening. Wishing you a wonderful week.

Until next time, take care of yourself.

Linking this to Day 9 of the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge#writebravely #writetribeproblogger

He Provides Meals to the Poor for Re.1 #WATWB

At one time or another, most of us have had people from earlier generation tell us clichéd stories about how much they could buy for Rupee 1. Today, you can’t really buy much of anything with Rupee 1 – except for the candies may be.

Though Rupee 1 coin is still around, but it seems to have lost its worth. So, when someone sells a full meal for Rupee 1, are you shocked or surprised or impressed? I guess, all!

Venkatraman from Erode, Tamil Nadu provides meals to the poor for a token amount of Re. 1. He offers around 70 meals every day including dishes like rice, curry, idlis and dosas through his self-run Sri AMV Homely Mess. Venkataraman Erode

Venkatraman has been providing these meals since 2007 to the patients and their caregivers of the nearby Erode General Hospital.

It all started because of a single woman who unwittingly made Venkataraman aware of a very harsh reality.

“A lady came to my mess to purchase food for herself and her husband who was admitted in the nearby government hospital. She wanted to purchase idlis, which I sell six for Rs. 10. But they were unavailable that day so I asked her to take dosas instead,” narrates Venkataraman, remembering the lady who became the starting point of his journey.

She refused to purchase dosas, because they were sold three for Rs. 10, and that would not be enough for her family. Touched by her dejected expression, Venkataraman gave her six dosas for the same amount.

But this wasn’t the end of the story. The incident, which would have been easily forgotten by many restaurant owners, stayed with Venkataraman. He realized that some people were dependent on an amount as small as Rs. 10 for survival through the entire day. He knew he had to do something, to the best of his own ability.

Watch Venkataraman’s awe-inspiring story here…

You may read more about him here.

Venkataraman shows us that you don’t have to be rich to help someone. You can show compassion and kindness even if you are struggling yourself. And that ordinary people can do extraordinary things!

Giving back is as good for you as it is for those you are helping, because giving gives you purpose. When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person — Goldie Hawn

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This post is part of the We Are the World Blogfest, a monthly event created by Damyanti Biswas and Belinda Witzenhausen to showcase stories of hope and light. This month I’m helping Belinda out as a co-host, along with extraordinary bloggers Guilie Castillo, Sylvia McGrath, and Mary Giese—please hop over to check out their WATWB posts as well as from other WATWB participants for a dose of feel-good to last you a whole month. You’ll be happy you did 🙂

Click HERE to check out the intention and rules of the blogfest and feel free to sign up at any time. You are always welcome!

Linking this to Day 8 of the Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Blogging Challenge#writebravely #writetribeproblogger

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