Diwali Lights

Online shopping websites are stocked to the brim with decorative lights for this year’s Diwali. From serial lights to lanterns and wall light, we bring you unique lights from the online world.

Antique Style Lanterns:

Hanwood has a full range of glass and metal antique style lanterns on sale in flipkart. This yellow lantern with wrought iron leaf ornaments are eye-catching. Prices range below INR 500.

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Paper Quilling Diya:

Hand made paper shilling fits a look like a platter with an ethnic clay diya surrounded by colourful paper shilling patterns. They come in bright colours, cost low and look great on table tips and as Rangoon center pieces. This colourful diya is from suni handicrafts. They are sold online at Shopclues.com

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Golden Colour String Lights (battery operated):

Fancy string lights that throw a rich hue and are battery operated for ease of use. These lights are sold by multiple sellers across many online shopping sites. Magideal at E bay lists them at INR 700.

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OM Wall Bracket:

This OM wall bracket will lighten up your house, and bring in a spiritual aura to your Diwali celebrations. It is on sale at Amazon.com by Inglow. It is priced at the steeper end at INR 1500.

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Ganesh Diya Lamp:

These lamps are hot sellers this Diwali season. The are metal diya tea light holders that throw a beautiful shadow of Lord Ganesh. They are available all over the internet with many shopping sites. There are also versions with Lakshmi Ma. This one is sold by Divya TantraDivya Tantra at Shop Clues with a good discount.

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We wish readers a happy diwali, with loads of fun filled shopping.

 

 

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Business avenues – Bake Cakes & Confectionery from home

Baking is fast becoming a sought after hobby. For the experts, it is a risk free business with good returns. People looking for early retirement from corporate jobs increasingly choose baking as an alternate career.

Learning skills and tools are an important requirement for any career. For baking, this starts from learning the basics of baking to specialization in cakes and pastries. There are short term, long term and even crash courses for baking.

For beginners, there are short term courses that teach the basics of baking, including cakes, buns, breads and biscuits. For advanced and pro level bakers, there are numerous short term and long term courses specializing in cakes, cup cakes, pastries, etc.

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Baking is a field where new tools and techniques keep evolving. So, the best institutes have long experience, as well as teach new tools and techniques of baking. Starting with a good beginner course is mandatory. This can be followed by multiple courses covering cakes, and a host of other confectioneries.

Tools required for baking depend on what specialization is opted for.  Cookies require industrial sized ovens to bake large numbers. Cakes require a host of accessories and embellishments for icing and decorations. Cost of baking courses, and materials are on the higher side. But this is one field where returns are guaranteed even during the initial stages.

Party and celebrations are the trend of the day, especially in big cities. If you live in the middle of a city, with access to a social circle that loves to celebrate, baking at home would be a lucrative business opportunity with good returns.

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For those who enter the baking business as a solo person, planning for a way to deliver baked goods is important. For many bakers, baking is the best part of the job, while delivery remains a nightmare. Delivering baked goods requires handling with utmost care. Outsourcing delivery or hiring outsiders to deliver may not be a safe option. So, plan for the delivery facilities before hand, to ensure customer satisfaction,

Many bakers start by taking up customized orders for cakes and cup cakes. Colleagues, friends and relatives who love to celebrate would be prospective customers at this stage. Once returns start flowing in, you can take up daily orders for bulk baking of cookies or pastries from local hotels / bakeries. A few successful bakers with good time management skills do bulk daily orders, in addition to highly customized (meaning, high priced) cakes and pastries for parties.

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A good online presence will help baking businesses by leaps and bounds. Online gives the easiest means to reach out to event managers, partying circles, and caterers and hoteliers. The second best means is word-of-mouth. Nothing works as best as a satisfied customer when it comes to marketing.

There are dozens of new bakers coming up every month, but there is space for more and more as the demand is high. A good field by all aspects if your heart is into baking and your brain is sharp in business acumen.

Data Entry – Making Work from Home possible

Data Entry means entering data into a computer. Most data entry jobs involve converting paper documents into soft copy documents. It can also involve entering details of undelivered mails, entering answers from handwritten questionnaires, converting numeric codes into descriptions, etc.

Most data entry jobs require good typing skills, Prior experience with the computer and clerical work is an added advantage.  Academic qualifications are not mandatory. Payments are either fixed amounts for a set of documents, or fixed amounts for every 1000 words entered.

Many companies employ Data entry clerks to work from the company premises. An increasing number of companies have started to out source the data entry work, instead of employing permanent employees.

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Where to find online data entry jobs

For International readers, websites like Craigslist, Monsterjobs etc have frequent posts for data entry jobs. For readers from India, Freelancer.in, MonsterJobs, Naukri etc have data entry requirements. Government of India regularly posts openings for data entry jobs in this www.IndiGovtJobs.in

A search in Google with terms like “Data Entry jobs” or Data Entry jobs in <your country> will bring back lots of websites with a wide variety of online data entry jobs.

Types of Data Entry jobs

If you are new to data entry jobs and would like to understand how it is done, You tube has many videos that demo data entry jobs. Reputed companies, Agents, University students, Research scholars etc often post requirements in these websites for data entry jobs.

Data Entry jobs are of many types:

Direct data typing jobs involve typing words directly in to Notepad or test editing softwares like MS Word.  Companies usually mandate a typing speed of 30 words per minute for this type of data entry jobs.

Form Filling jobs includes migrating data from filled up forms to files or vice-versa. This job involves typing huge amounts of data in already filled up forms into text files.. , or filling every field in the form according to data from text files.

Image to text conversion jobs involve typing text displayed in images, like captcha images.

Copy-Paste jobs can be found all over the internet. This would involve copy – pasting activities, like copy pasting a given advertisement text into many classifieds websites and forums.

Medical Transcription is one of the highly paid and reliable data entry jobs. This job involves referring to medical documents that are in the form of images.. and typing the same into text documents. This job is difficult because the documents involve difficult and complex medical related words.

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Beware of fradulent sites

It is important to identify fraudulent sites while searching for online Data Entry jobs. An advertisement for online data entry or Copy-paste jobs with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes is a sign of caution.

Go with sites that look professional, and display information about the company. While calling toll free numbers to sign up for data entry work, inquire about the company, its roots, frequency and mode of payments.

Ensure you pay a visit to the company (HQ or branch office) before making payments or signing contracts.

Try out a short term membership before making long term commitments.

If a trust worthy company is identified that makes payments on time and the payment amount is satisfactory, it would signal the beginning of a stable income. Happy Data Entry!

Image courtesy: All Things Clipart

An eco-friendly home

A green yard, butterflies, the scent of blooming flowers, abundant water, natural ventilation, etc etc are fast disappearing. Urbanization has fast wiped out all this. But, there are many nature loving people interested in eco-friendly life style. The first step starts right at our homes. Here are some easy ways to a green and eco-friendly home:

1. While moving houses, give preference to houses that allow ample sunlight and air flow.

2. While building houses, plan your window placements as per wind flow. Ensure every window / door in the house has an opposite window or door to allow movement of air. For maximum air flow, it is always good to have windows facing East / West. Nothing can beat open courtyards and skylights to make your house bright and airy.

Kerala windows

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3. Grow your own vegetables. This is the best way to reduce carbon foot prints. Every imported fruit or off – season vegetable in the super market was grown in a far away place and has been transported to your location. It has used up fuel and resources in travelling all the way. Instead buy from local farmer market, or grow your own vegetables.

4. If your garden space is limited, incorporate vegetable plants into your existing garden in an aesthetic manner. For example, spinach makes an excellent ground cover, instead of the familiar lawn. Beetroots, carrots, cabbage, turmeric etc make good border plants. Pumpkin, bitter gourd, bottle gourd etc would make your fence or alcove a pleasant sight.

Urban Vegetable garden

Image source: http://VrikshaNurseries.blogspot.in

5. Terrace gardens act like centralised air condition systems in keeping out heat. If you live in an apartment, it is an excellent opportunity to plan a community garden involving all residents. It is fun, easy to share the work, and also gives a constant supply of fresh flowers and vegetables.

6. Do you have a balcony or patio? Convert it into an english garden or a zen garden or a green reading corner. All it needs is creativity, a few potted plants and a couple of chairs 🙂

balcony garden

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7. Re-direct your tap water / or washing machine outlet to water your garden. It helps recycle and save a great deal of water.

8. Have a terracota jug or pot for storing drinking water. This is the best and safest source of refreshing cold water.

A WOMAN POTTER

Image source: http://www.TheHindu.com

9. Use neem oil, with crushed garlic to keep away mosquitoes. They work wonders in keeping out bugs, flies and mosquitoes. Neem leaves can also be used to prevent stored rice, wheat and grains from rotting.

10. If you live in hot areas, traditional flooring like terracotta tiles, Athangudi tiles keep your house cool through out the year. They are also easy to maintain  and clean.

Terracota floor

Image source: www.DoItYourself.com

An eco-friendly home  is not about having a green lawn and bird bath. It is about small things that reduce our consumption and help recycle. Let us do our bit in conserving and preserving nature around our house.

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