Love is in the air..

I have been using Grammarly’s grammar check for the past couple weeks because, let me face it, I frequently write  posts full of run-on sentences way longer than this one right here – sentences that might be perfect for confusing my readers, where they might go, “Huh? What is she trying to say? Guess her proof-reader took the day off today!” and, honestly, I love grammar (though cannot profess to be perfect, discovering its quirks across languages, learning its rules, and knowing when and how to use them is always fun for me).

I will continue using Grammarly for a few more days as I have been offered a free trial for one month to try it out. I will then post a review of the tool. After the first couple of uses, I realized that I need to use the ‘casual’ or ‘creative’ options while putting my posts through Grammarly’s proofreading.

The above section of my post, for example, scored a 75/100 (and a 78/100 when I ran it a second time? – see notes below), when I picked the paper type as ‘Academic’  while the ‘Casual’ paper type option gave me a score of 90/100. So guess which one I prefer?

Paper Type: General – run 1: I got a score of 75 with 3 issues and I wondered why since two of the issues pointed to the same thing – use of passive voice.

Paper Type: General – run 2: One of the 2 issues mentioned above just disappeared (with no changes to my text so looks like there are things that need to be worked on)
Paper Type: Casual

First thoughts: while it might be a better tool for people writing books or papers (business/technical/thesis) than for casual or creative writers, it has definitely taught me stuff and is fun to use. So, while I am still the final editor of my posts and I decide which mistakes are OK to be included in the post, it is good to know proof-reading tools such as this (and hopefully keep improving with time) exist.  The explanations provided for most of the issues it finds are informative.

Disclaimer: Before I decided to try using Grammarly, I had to confirm that the first
email I got inviting me to try it out was real so I went on their
website and wrote to support asking them to confirm the genuineness of
the invitation for me. This peek into Grammarly as well as my upcoming review in a couple of weeks will both be sponsored posts by Grammarly but the opinions – completely my own.

It is that day of the year again. When hearts are everywhere – literally! Love is in the air (I love this phrase!) and I am singing in the rain! The kids had a Valentine’s day party at school today, and I loved being a part of that party.
There is so much more I wanted to include in this post so I am sure this will get an update later tonight, but for now, as Valentine’s Day dinners are being enjoyed in the western-most parts of the world, here is wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Love is in the Air – Gift Ideas for your loved ones

It is the time of the year when love is in the air!! It is Valentine’s Day season after all — when hearts are everywhere, when love is literally in the air, and we have lists of gift ideas and date night activities and more! So I have another list of gift ideas for your loved ones. Based on what I normally recommend, they are obviously bookish!

My Valentine’s Day History

I remember when Valentines day first became something to celebrate in India. I saw all the Hallmarks and Archies (greeting card stores in India) stores in Bangalore suddenly start displaying huge heart based displays and teddy bears. It became a popular holiday in India soon, for who does not love the images Valentine’s Day brings to mind – love, romance, chocolates, hearts, teddy bears, flowers.

Love is in the Air

And then I moved to the US and my first Valentine’s Day here, I heard the bell ring one evening. On opening the door, I saw one of those giant teddy bears waiting for me..:) As years passed and the kids came along and started school, Valentines Day meant preparing cards for the 20+ kids in their classes. We made popup cards one year, went the easy route and got cards from Diddums’ another year, and a third year, got permitted treats for everyone.

Love is in the Air – Quotes You’ll Love

Since love is in the air, here are a few swoon-worthy quotes from books perfect to celebrate..

Falling in love

“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once.” – John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

When In Love

“Who, being loved, is poor?” —Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance

“He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” —Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

“You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.” —John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

“Whatever our souls are made out of, his and mine are the same. If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.” —Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights

“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.” ― Nicole Krauss, The History of Love

The Many Ways We Love

“You don’t love because, you love despite; not for the virtues, but despite the faults. ”  William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

“Do I love you? My god, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.” —William Goldman, The Princess Bride

 “If you ever have need of my life, come and take it.”—Anton Chekhov, The Seagull

“Wheresoever she was, there was Eden.” Mark Twain, The Diaries of Adam and Eve

The Gift Ideas

And finally, the gift ideas..

Here are a few suggestions that I normally love to gift anytime of the year

The Bookish Ones

Books, of course

It is International Book Giving Day as well on the 14th of February, so what better gift than a book..

A miniature library all your own to make and treasure.

This Pride and Prejudice set won over my heart when I saw it a couple of months ago on IG. I have ordered it for myself and it is so precious.

Other Bookish Items

These literary candles will wow the book lover you love

And this is one of the options for literary coffee mugs. One can never have enough , right?

This 100 Books Scratch Off poster will help towards reading goals. And there is a 100 Kids Books version too.

Here are the book lists: 100Books and 100KidsBooks.

And the Well-Read Women: A Reader’s Journal to help us along as well. This one is so beautiful.

A book for your love to declare your love all the way from A to Z!

Love is in the Air

Download these free printable paper roses (with instructions) here. Uncommon Goods has other free printable downloads as well here.

The etcs.

And then I have some more fun stuff.

  • Susanna Leonard Hill holds an annual Valentiny writing contest. The gist of this is – write a Valentine’s story appropriate for children (ages 12 and under) maximum 214 words in which someone feels brave (due 2/12). Check for more details here

The love in your heart wasn’t put to stay;
Love isn’t love until you give it away.

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Love is in the Air

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