3 tips to make your tea time count!

With the rainy season here, the heart naturally leaps towards that hot cup of chai every morning to get out of bed with a zing in your step and during breaks at work to help you feel rejuvenated again and get back to that pile of work waiting to get done. While there are many schools of thought around having tea and its benefits and its downsides, today, I would like to share a different benefit of having tea!

Tea time is a chance to slow down, pull back and appreciate our surroundings.

Here are a few of my favourite tips along with do’s and don’ts

Connection – Make the morning cuppa a connection time!

Don’t – Read the newspaper with your chai! It feeds your fresh mind with news about how the world is getting scammed, crime and the ugly side of politics – let’s face it, newspapers don’t focus on what good is going on in the world – on the front page!

Do – switch the newspaper-chai combo to chai-and-you or chai-and-your spouse combo. In our fast paced life, these few moments  of quiet with self or quality time with your spouse is a great way to begin the day on a positive and reflective note. If you must read at this time, then pick a book that your mind can feed off and feel inspired in the morning!

Reflect – During chai time break at work

Don’t – Have your chai at your desk and continue to work. Or even worse, meet colleagues at chai and gossip or discuss the news (interesting and uplifting conversations are welcome!)

Do – Step away from your desk, get your chai and go out for a walk in nature for a few minutes and reflect on the day gone by, enjoy the warm liquid and feel it refreshing your senses. (try tea without sugar and milk, to feel even more refreshed!). If you don’t have the luxury of green, worry not – you can still take that small stroll around the office, in the corridor, play some music on your head phones and disconnect from work for a few minutes.

Relax – The evening cuppa with your children

Don’t – Carry work or thoughts of work to your home. Park them outside and disconnect from them once you are home. Don’t use your mobile as soon you get home. (easier said than done – but so worth it, it’ll amaze you!)

Do – Connect with your children and ask them how their day has been, listen to their stories and engage in meaningful conversations to understand how they are doing and what they are thinking (listen to them while they are still excited to share, soon, they will grow up and then may not share as much)

There are a million things you could choose to do with your cuppa chai! These are my favourites, do share yours too in the comments below. You never know who may get inspired by your comment and will take it on board and feel happier! And you can indulge in a range of some great teas by clicking here! 

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree





3 tips to keep yourself hydrated this summer!


With the mercury levels in the country rising each day, summers are getting harsher every year. This trend is expected to continue until and unless something is done on a large scale to cut down global warming. So what can you do at an individual level to contribute to a greener and cooler planet, and keep ourselves hydrated at the same time this summer?

Here are 3 really simple tips for you to stay hydrated this season:

Carry your own bottle of water – With the amount of commuting and travel that has become a part of our daily routine, having a bottle of water close to you is a great way to keep sipping on small amounts throughout the day – to keep your body well hydrated. This also avoids the purchase of bottled water – which costs a lot and adds to the landfills (Did you know, bottled water is not as safe as it looks!)

Infuse lime or mint in the water – Adding a citrus slice or some mint leaves to water is a simple way to jazz up the water flavor and also naturally alkalizes the water making it a healthier option! When it tastes good, it feels good too. Invest in a good infuser bottle to help you with this option.

Drink 3 litres of water per day – Make sure you have atleast 3 litres of water per day (Juices and other liquids do not count). This will ensure replacement of the water lost through sweat and the dehydration caused by an air conditioned environment.  As a bonus tip – bring down your caffeine consumption during the summers to keep yourself feeling lighter and brighter!

If you like what you read, remember to like, comment or share and let’s create a healthier and happier version of ourselves!

Leena Munot
The Giving Tree



How to make sure you don’t buy… just another useless gift!

When was the last time you opened a gift box and said….REALLY? Moments that are meant to bring joy, sometimes end up bringing the giver a sense of embarassment and the receiver some share of anger and upset.

Have you even been on the giving or receiving side of such gifts…which end up making you feel, ‘oh come on, it’s a hands-me-down gift or a passing-the-parcel gift, or a gift that you have absolutely no use for…like the comb to a bald person!

Be honest. Most of us have been there before…!

Here are 3 ways to steer clear of this in the future:

1. Buy a voucher – when you don’t know the person well enough never take a chance – go safe, buy a gift voucher for a place where he/she can get enough options to choose from.

2. Pass the parcel – These are those gifts that you can’t throw and you can’t use either. Reasons could be many – your favourite aunt got you this, how can you give it away? Or you got it as a recognition at work for a milestone achieved…whatever the reason, if you don’t need it, pass it on. The only thing you want to be careful about here is make sure there is no gift tag inside the box, the person you are passing it to has a genuine need for this item, and that it is not damaged!

3. Ask a close friend – If gift vouchers are not your thing, ask a close friend of the receiver and find out their tastes and preferences. Then pick the gift so you know you are on the right track.

For more tips on doing sensible gifting, follow us on Facebook.

Leena Munot

The Giving Tree

3 ways to identify the perfect gift

For most corporates when it is the season for ordering some gifts to give to their teams or clients, all hell breaks loose. Corporate gifting suddenly takes on a different meaning, and whatever it may mean, it certainly means no joy. If you are a working professional in a large multinational conglomerate, chances are you receive a gift for your birthday, anniversary, new year, Diwali and so on. When a colleague from the cubicle next to you receives a coffee mug with his name, on a not-so-great looking design behind, you know a month later the same mug will land on your desk, because it is your birthday.

A research in 2015, revealed that the corporate gifting segment in India is over 2.5 billion USD!!! What a shame, if in the name of so much money being spent by companies across the board, it is killing delight, eliminating surprise and deleting happiness from their gifting.

Corporate gifting – It is about gifting not grieving.

Here are 3 tips that will help move in the right direction for gifting this season:

1. Learn from the past – Before you plan what to buy for your teams this year, it may be a good idea to see what they have received in the last few years. A chat during a coffee break can be a great place to collect feedback from them. Of course, we don’t mean you go outright and ask, but in a more subtle conversational manner, your team will reveal a lot. Eg., when you see your colleague drinking from a plain coffee mug, ask him how come he’s not using the gift he got on his birthday from the office and he may respond saying ‘oh, that was a sad looking one, I didn’t like the quality, same old gift, it cracked within a few days …’ and the list can go on. Now you know that your team appreciates good quality and design on the product.

2. Meet new vendors – If you’ve ever worked with a corporate you’ll know what a pain it is to get empanelled. Technology and internal restrictions don’t always make it a easy ride. So most companies force themselves to buy from pre registered vendors, because of ease of transacting and minimal internal paper work. It’s costing you your reputation with your teams!!! Don’t you see that? Existing vendors get into a comfort zone after a point and no matter what occasion you call them for, they will continue to offer the same old tees, caps, sippers, desk sets and accessories. Gifting is all about making someone feel special and it costs you money, so why would you not step out and look for new vendors at all times? You stand to get new variety of gifts, gifts that are trending and those promising higher levels of delight to your recipients.

3. Communicate with your teams – Sometimes no matter what you do your teams are not excited with the gift you bring them. May be they are getting one too many gifts from the company and so the value is lost or the gifts are boring and are being handed down. Be what it may, communicate with your teams to get feedback and throw the ball in their court sometimes. Ask them to create a list of gifts they would enjoy receiving and using. This exercise can be most revealing as your teams will come up with some great ideas, products and perhaps places from where you can procure them too…ta daaa!

Some gifts are big. Some gifts are small. The ones that come form the heart are the best gifts of all.

There are a zillion corporate gifting ideas out there, but in my experience of close to two decades of being in this industry, I realize, there are a zillion mindsets you are dealing with too. A gift goes a long way in building long term relationships between teams, clients and vendors. A well thought gift creates an added experience of delight and warmth, as it touches the heart of the person who receives it and he can see your care come through when he sees the gift. In the latter one, chances are he will remember you for a long time, long after the gift has been consumed or whenever the new year arrives he will wait for your gift more than others, because he knows now, you do meaningful gifts that make him / her feel special.

This year when you begin looking for gifts keep these simple, yet highly effective, pointers in mind and make your gift buying process easier, more enriching and more thoughtful…the results will be there to testify when you send those gifts out.

Happy gifting times!

Leena Munot
Entreprenuer. Blogger. Trainer. Author