Paperless Post: Send Invitations & Cards Online in Style!

Paperless Post is an online service that enables you to send Online Invitations to events like weddings, birthdays, parties, etc. You can also send Online greeting cards, wishes, and more using this website.

While some cards and invitations are available for free, others come with premium designs/features like envelopes, envelop liners, backdrops, custom stamps, etc. that require Paperless Post Coins which can be purchased online on their website.

For events, you can customize the pre-designed cards with your own text, fonts, colors, etc. You can even add a photo on the cards that support this feature.

The best thing I found about event invitations is, you can keep track of the delivery (sent, opened) for each recipient and you can also keep track of how many people are actually coming (RSVP). There is an events page that will be populated with your guest names who opt to come, and there is a comment wall that enables them to write their own wishes, comments, etc. – facebook style.

While designing an invite for testing, I found two limitations: After I add an email address, there is no way to delete it if I change my mind later on. Also, I am not able to add videos or music to any of the cards. Otherwise, the design, delivery and tracking process on this website is very easy to use.

So next time you’re about to organize an event or wish someone on their special day, do remember Paperless Post. Just come back and look at the beginning of this blog post for the link 🙂

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The Importance & Benefits of RO Water Purifier

Drinking water quality is one of the key concerns in the modern era. Pollution is on a gradual rise, which makes it necessary to ensure proper purification standards to safeguard the health of your family members. The old filtration methods cannot tackle the impurities adequately, hence the need for an RO water purifier.

RO is considered to be the best bet for water purification. RO stands for reverse osmosis, which involves filtering water by subjecting it to high pressure in order to remove traces of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, and THMs from the water.
Now, this is something that every purifier promises but the task is to find the best RO water purifier.

Livpure’s RO purifier is equipped with an extensive purification process that filters our all-possible impurities from the water and ensures good health for your family members. Under its warranty process, there are also provisions for replacement of the RO water purifier filter that is the major contributor to cleaning the impure water.

Clean and pollution-free water plays an important part in enhancing your family’s lifestyle. Reverse Osmosis is the most popular water purification technology available across the world, today. Hence, choosing the best RO water purifier is as important as choosing the right doctor.

It’s easy to make money in this modern world, but health, the most important wealth of all, is the real wealth that eludes many. Drinking pure water is the first step in maintaining good health. And Reverse Osmosis Water purifiers are essential for that. Do your research well and choose wisely!

Selfie Video with Peacock #DiwaliDecor

Here is my Selfie Photo/Video with Peacock flower arrangement at Phoenix MarketCity, Velachery, Chennai on the occasion of #DiwaliDecor. Wait, there is a twist to this selfie – watch it for yourself,

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PS: Howzz ittt? 🙂

Disclaimer: This video was made for a selfie contest organized by Phoenix MarketCity. If you feel this should be labeled as a sponsored post, then it is.

Preethi Turbo Chop – Our Experience

Preethi Turbo Chop is the smaller version of a mixer grinder (mini mixie) that can grind/chop vegetables and fruits into fine pieces. If you are looking for a device to cut/chop vegetables into large/medium pieces to make poriyal (large bits), etc. this is not the apt device.

If you are looking for a device to cut/chop vegetables into large/medium pieces to make poriyal (large bits), etc. this is not the apt device.

However, if you want to chop them into finer pieces or even grind them into a paste or make them into finely ground poriyal, kesari, juice, chutney, etc., Preethi Turbo Chop is a good option.

Here is a small overview video of Preethi Turbo Chop, its parts, assembly, and a short look into its operation –

Recently, we made a few Deepavali dishes using Preethi Turbo Chop – Tomato rice, Cabbage vada, Carrot Halwa & Pomegranate juice. Detailed recipes for making these dishes are available at the above link. Based on our experience, here are the advantages & limitations of Preethi Turbo Chop.

Advantages –

  1. Easy operation
  2. Saves time, chopping is fast
  3. Press action enables us to choose rotation/cutting intensity
  4. Large bowl
  5. Simple setup & assembly
  6. Easy to clean
  7. 450W motor is powerful and doesn’t consume as much electricity as its 750W mixer grinder variants
  8. Not only a chopper but also a blender
  9. Value for money
  10. Occupies very less space
  11. Sharp blades
  12. White colour looks simple and elegant in the kitchen

Limitations –

  1. Slightly difficult to clean at the motor opening, especially in between chopping multiple veg/fruits
  2. Doesn’t chop veggies into medium or large bits, chops them only into fine bits or powder. If you accidentally extend the operation, it becomes a paste. Need to be careful how long you use the motor
  3. We are dependent on electricity for its operation. Doesn’t work during power cuts
  4. Lower jar could have had a handle

Here is a demo video created by the company –

You can buy Preethi Turbo Chop Online from Amazon.

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Reduce Air Pollution at Home by Reducing Formaldehyde Exposure

You thought air inside your house is clean and free from air-pollution?

Think again.

Formaldehyde, a dangerous air pollutant – carcinogen and sensitizer, is found ten times more inside homes than outside.

Which materials are responsible for formaldehyde release at homes? 

  • Air fresheners/fragrances/perfumes
  • Wallpaper
  • Cleaning products containing tarpenes
  • Adhesives, Carpets
  • Cigarrates/e-cigarattes
  • Wood/Coal and even Gas Stoves
  • Combustion Exhausts from automobiles
  • Paper napkins
  • Easy care, Anti-wrinkle/shrink clothes and curtains treated with formaldehyde
  • Polyester clothing and pillow foam
  • Skincare products using formaldehyde as preservative
  • Cosmetics like nail polish and hair smootheners
  • Manufactured wood furniture products & furniture preservatives/coatings (Especially when these are brand new)

How does continuous exposure to formaldehyde affect one’s health?

Exposure to formaldehyde increases the risk of developing any of the following ailments depending on the exposure and body resistance of individuals.

  • Headaches, vomiting
  • Irritation/burning eyes and nose
  • Allergic reaction, fatigue, nausea
  • Wheezing, asthma
  • Skin rashes, allergy
  • Even cancer

How to reduce exposure to formaldehyde at homes?

  • Don’t allow smoking inside homes
  • Ventilate garages well enough that vehicular exhausts are released directly to the atmosphere
  • Ventilate homes with sufficient open windows, fans and exhaust fans so that any formaldehyde and other pollutants leave quickly
  • Don’t use chemical-based perfumes or air fresheners. Opt for natural/organic sources like agarbathi, camphor, sambarani, etc.
  • Have exhaust fans directly over cooking stoves
  • Buy and use natural/organic cotton-based clothing materials and handcrafted textiles that use natural dyes
  • Reduce humidity and temperature by using an Air Conditioner
  • Use denser filters with ACs.
  • Use indoor/outdoor plants that are known to reduce air pollutants in and around homes. A list of few such plants and trees is available here and here
  • Use natural and organic products as far as possible for cleaning and personal care
  • Try to avoid finished wood products like MDF, hardwood plywood, particleboard, etc.
  • Give preference to formaldehyde-free building materials like stainless steel, plastic, gypsum, etc. instead of wood
  • Prefer other (safer) coating materials instead of formaldehyde coating for furniture and other materials
  • Buy antique wooden furniture which mostly does not emit formaldehyde or have at least exhausted their capacity and no longer release this dangerous chemical
  • Develop a healthy lifestyle – keep switching between indoors and outdoor frequently to avoid continuous exposure. Encourage kids to play more outdoors

Use Royale Atmos paint from Asian Paints

Asian Paints has come up with Royale Atmos paints which, the company claims, reacts with formaldehyde and breaks it into harmless molecules. They also say that this paint also absorbs other air irritants like nicotine, ammonia, etc.

All you need to do is paint your house/office with Royale Atmos wall paint to protect your home for up to two years from air pollutants, as mentioned on their website.

Asian Paints says that Royale Atmos also absorbs malodours/foul smell and releases a good fragrance. It gives a smooth matte finish that gives a nice look to your walls and is equipped with Teflon surface protector to protect your walls against stains – which makes cleaning the walls easier.  It also comes with green assure seal.

More Information: Asian Paints Royale Atmos website.

Have a look at their TV Commercial featuring Deepika Padukone,

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For more exhaustive information on formaldehyde pollutant and how you can protect your family against it, check here and here

Leave me a Message through Sarahah!!

OK, finally I have also jumped on the bandwagon 🙂 Sarahah is a service/app that allows anyone to send anonymous messages to others without disclosing their (sender’s) identity. Of course, the recipient needs to first register in Sarahah to get a unique link for themselves which they can share on blogs, FB, etc., like how I have done here. They can later login on Sarahah to view the received messages. All messages through this app are anonymous.

I request you all to send me some constructive (or otherwise – it’s OK) feedback regarding my blogging activities, FB activities, etc. so that I can improve myself and create better content in the future.

Here is my Sarahah link –

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PS: I am purposefully closing comments on this post. Kindly use the above link to send me your views, whatever they may be 🙂 Of course, I won’t disclose/reply to your views even if I am able to guess the sender 🙂

Obsession with Marks Now = Obsession with Money Later?

I find human beings an interesting species because,

  1. They want to be obsessed about something always
  2. They are never satisfied with anything anytime

Let’s take any animal or bird. They go out and get food when they feel hungry. Only when they feel hungry.

Of course, there are exceptions like ants, honeybees, etc. that have been created with hoarding traits similar to humans. But even ants and honey bees don’t feel so inadequate that they start competing with each other to build the biggest mountain of a nest or the flashiest of honeycombs.

Human beings, ostensibly the most intelligent of all species on earth, seem to be driven by a single agenda: Make More Money. For that, what do you need? Get More Marks. That’s it. That’s life. That’s the purpose and meaning of one’s life – Of course, you wouldn’t know that if you have been living on Mars lately.

And you know who is the most intelligent person on earth? The person who gets the most marks, consequently makes the most money, deposits most of them in Swiss Banks (hey – they’re tax-free, aren’t they?) and then dies a wealthy person.

I wish life was that simple. I really wish.

So, for a change, instead of fattening the pockets of educationalists (who are already suffering from the weight of fat pockets) and their more marks = more money = more happiness agenda, why not stop and think? Outside the box, of course.

Unless we do that, we as a society are going to fail more and more youngsters like this.

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Proceeds go to Charity. Like, Really?

Overpriced shows and events nowadays seem to have this line by default in their ads – “Proceeds from this show go to charity.”

Now, I don’t have any issue with such publicity stunts as long as even a fraction of the money they collect actually goes to a charity and is helpful to someone in need, some way.

But I seriously doubt if that happens.

I am not skeptical about all event organizers. Some of them announce the name of their charity partner in their ads and they even invite people from the charity organization to participate in their events. I am sure some good is happening somewhere. I have not (yet) lost confidence in humanity.

But some ads I saw recently more than irked me. These organizers think that by just including one line on charity people will instantly take their credit cards and buy the tickets. They don’t mention anything about the cause they are supporting or mention something vague.

If they are serious about the cause they would support, why can’t event organizers put up the actual data on ticket collection, expenditure, and proceeds that were actually given to charity, post-event, at least on their website?

I have never seen any such declaration. Have you?

Don’t you think a declaration like that will enhance your credibility and enable you to be transparent? Don’t you realize that it will also encourage people to donate more and bring in future donors?

Consider how movie tickets are cost-competitive in spite of huge production budgets. They have figured out how to provide economy on scale, and give the entertainment people want without over-charging.

I feel event organizers should utilize newer distribution mediums like the Internet to reach more customers and reduce individual ticket prices. Esp. considering that there is so much competition from books, movies, TV shows, etc., all of them at a fraction of the cost, none of whom are ashamed to declare that they are professional business people who provide value to earn money.

If event organizers focus on ‘donations’ as the main selling point of their offering, and not the content/experience, then they are in a different business altogether. At least if we donate directly to causes, we can be (somewhat) sure that (some of) our money will actually be used towards that cause.

Destination Infinity – My Honest Review (No Affiliate Links) is a recently released cloud-based app to create ‘3D & Animation videos’ (according to the makers). Since I bought the app on the first day of its release, I want to write a quick review (with advantages & limitations) of app from my experience of having worked with it for a couple of days, so that you can make an informed decision.

The most important thing – the jaw-dropping low price of around $30 USD (when I bought) and $35 USD (at the time of writing this article) does not include rights to sell the videos. If you want full rights to make and sell videos to clients with 3D avatars & text-to-speech, which is important for many, be prepared to buy their deluxe & agency plan also.

I paid around $130 USD (one-time first-day launch pricing) for Regular, Deluxe & Agency plans. Once I bought the regular plan, the other two were upsold to me immediately afterward. I was told that I will get extra templates every month, I can make videos for a longer duration (which is 6:00 min for the Agency plan – for the regular plan it’s 10x lower, it seems) and I can sell videos with 3D avatars to clients.

Now let me come to the actual utility. I am surprised that a 3D animation video maker app doesn’t support keyframing!! It does support tracks (similar to layers) which will allow you to create a basic animation/movie using the built-in photos, videos, background, 3D avatars, music, etc. But I feel keyframing is extremely critical for an animation app. Hope they’ll include this feature in the near future. Also, you cannot draw/move objects over time.

There are a few intros, outros, text effects and other templates that are useful. But right now there are just around ten to fifteen in each category. I would prefer a more exhaustive collection. Their other product (Viddyoze – I assume it is theirs) has a much better collection. They have promised to include a few more templates each month – let’s see.

I am really impressed with the 3D avatars, text-to-speech technology and lip syncing. If you have some application for this, buy this product without hesitation. Since I do, I don’t regret my purchase and am not going to use the 30-day money back guarantee. But if you want to make custom animations, I am not sure how helpful this app would be. The timeline supports just basic animation.

I am impressed with the text to speech feature and the voices included with this app are quite good. I wish the 3D avatars could be exported using a transparent background. Of course, I can upload my own videos (after compressing them with HandBrake) but I prefer working on other apps for animations.

Professional explainer videos will demand voice-overs by professionals, but since my videos are of a more casual nature, I am fine with the polished robotic voices. They have included multiple speakers in many languages, which is great. I wish I could export just the voice without the avatar.

I am using this app in conjunction with two more video creation apps – one desktop-based and the other cloud-based. Frankly, I like the desktop app more because there are no delays associated with uploading/ downloading/ rendering, etc. But most apps nowadays work in the cloud and we are expected to get used to the delays. However, Videobuilder didn’t freeze while I was working on it – I have experienced a few that have, before. I mailed the support on when one of my videos were not rendering. It was sorted in a few hours. So the support, at least for now, is responsive.

Altogether, a decent app for the launch special one-time price (Agency plan). I wish they were frank upfront about all the three plans they offer, cost, limitations. Why intimate clients about the limitations of the basic plans in the last minute? Also, I guess it’s fine to ignore the exact time left for the offer to end, on their launch page. The launch offer is still On even after a couple of days now while the timer indicated 1.5 hours left for me!!

If you are creating and selling videos, and if you have an application for the 3D avatars to narrate a few parts instead of using just text, this app will be useful to you.

Destination Infinity