Siblinghood of the World Bloggers Award !

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I’m so honored to be nominated by the lovely Alicia of The Cyborg Knight for the Siblinghood of the World Bloggers Award! Please check out Alicia’s blog, she writes about sci-fi and fantasy books, games and TV shows! Thank you so much Alicia for the nomination! 😀

RULES

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog
  • Display the award on your blog
  • Answer the ten questions sent to you
  • Nominate ten bloggers for the award
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer

ALICIA’s QUESTIONS AND MY ANSWERS

1. When did you really get into reading? Was it at an earlier age or later in life?
Oh, I was a wee little thing when I got into reading thanks to my dad who encouraged me to read a lot. In fact one of my earlier posts on this blog explains a bit about how I got into reading here

2. What do you like to do when you are not reading?
When I am not reading, I’m either blogging, watching a movie or TV show or spending some time on social media. Other than that, I like to do some yoga everyday.

3. If you had to live in any world in any book, what would it be?
Good question! I suppose, it would have to be the world of Enid Blyton. I grew up reading her books where young pre-teens such The Famous Five, Secret Seven, The Five Find-Outers would go off having adventures on islands or the woods and find themselves solving mysteries. It was a pretty exciting and imaginative world for me and I would have loved to be part of their secret societies.

4. What did you want to be when you grew up? Did you become what your 6 year old self wanted to be?
I wanted to be so many things when I was very young! I wanted to be a writer, have my own magazine, be on TV as a reporter or TV host or work at the airport as ground staff! I didn’t exactly become any of those things but I did work at the airport for a couple of months and decided it wasn’t my cup of tea. I did make a magazine while pursuing my Masters degree in Media and Communication and co-host our college show for one episode and loved both so much! It was a childhood dream come true!

5. What is your favorite Christmas or Holiday tradition?
I am Indian and I absolutely adore the hundreds of festivals we keep celebrating throughout the year! I can’t really pick one favourite tradition but I love it when Indian communities get together and celebrate out on the streets, playing music and dancing and having fun. This is something that you don’t get to see here in Dubai (except maybe during Diwali when kids burst firecrackers) and I really miss that.

6. What TV shows are you ridiculously obsessed with?
I am definitely into Sherlock but I can’t say I am obsessed with it because the waiting period between two seasons is too long that I often forget about it. Currently, I’m into Young & Hungry but my all-time favorite sitcom has to be F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

7. If you could have lunch with any author or actor or mentor/hero, who would it be?
Sigh, Tom Hiddleston. But of course, I have so many mentors, authors and coaches that I would love to meet and ask hundreds of questions.

8. How long does it usually take you to finish a book?
I have actually become slower in reading than when I was a child because I get distracted way too easily. I would say an average of 3-4 days, sometimes even longer!

9. Do you have any pets? What pets would you like to someday bring into your home?
No unfortunately. But I would love love love to have a cuddly cat companion one day.

10. If I told you I didn’t like to read, but I was hoping to find a book that would change my opinion of reading, what book would you recommend to me?
Oh, that’s a tough one! I would really recommend starting with short stories as they’re the one of the best proofs of an author’s talent for telling a compelling tale in a few short pages and ideal for getting into the reading habit. I would love you to start reading Agatha Christie’s collection of shorts like The Listerdale Mystery and The Golden Ball and other stories.

MY QUESTIONS

  1. What is the number one issue that you would personally like to stand up for in today’s world?
  2. Your favourite fall/winter foods?
  3. A favourite movie that you can keep watching over and over again?
  4. If you could adopt a personality trait of any one of your favorite fictional characters in books or film, what would it be?
  5. Your favourite quote/mantra of all time.
  6. In an alternate universe, imagine you’re somebody/something else. What/who do you imagine yourself to be? It doesn’t necessarily have to be human or a living thing. It can be ANYTHING. There are no rules, let your imagination run wild.
  7. Do you remember any memorable prank you played or one that was played on you? Or maybe, there’s one that you would like to play on someone? What was/is it?
  8. If you could ask your favorite mentor/actor/ideal only ONE question, what would it be?
  9. Do you have a go-to place where you can completely feel relaxed?
  10. Tips for blogging newbies?

I NOMINATE:

  1. Jessy of Koolitzable
  2. Rebeca of Books and Messy Buns
  3. Katherine of Neon Yeti Reads
  4. Somali of Scribbles and Scrawl
  5. Bernadette of Haddon Musings
  6. Stefani of Caught Read Handed
  7. Yvo of It’s All About Books
  8. La duchesse d’Erat
  9. Galit of Coffee n’ Notes
  10. Cristina of My Tiny Obsessions

Congratulations to the nominees and please go visit these lovely blogs, they’re all pretty awesome! 😀


Thank you for taking the time to visit this blog, I always value your encouragement and support! If you liked this blog post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help spread it by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Thank you!

If you’d like to contact me for enquiries or just to say hello, you can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com or even connect with me on Facebook , Instagram, Twitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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Take 5 #1 – These Inspiring Blogs

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Starting today, on the first day of every month,  I’ll be sharing a theme-based round up of 5 interesting things I love or have come across in a brand new series I call Take 5. This month’s focus is on Inspiring Blogs.

Since I started the Take-A-Step Thursday event, I’ve been actively looking for inspiring bloggers who have their own wisdom to share or are in the pursuit of extraordinary things and who motivate me to become a better version of myself too. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I love going back to these blogs from time to time to seek something that lights up the fire again in my belly.

1. Sly Speaks – I love reading this blog. The author of this blog writes about #MindfulMondays, Life Lessons, Simple Living, Health and Wellness and other inspirational topics. Recently she has started a blog post series which talks about dealing with unemployment in your twenties.

2. Confetti and Curves – Karen’s enthusiasm and love for what she does is so infectious, I cannot help but feel really happy and enthusiastic too after reading her blog posts. The main focus of her blog is on beauty, fashion and weddings and she also gives some useful blogging advice which I love reading.

3. Let’s Reach Success – To be honest, I just discovered this blog recently, but I already like what I see. This blog focuses on setting goals, productivity and creating good habits among other things and has a lot of great advice and tips that are simple to follow.

4. Malavika Suresh – Malavika has a treasure trove of wisdom to share on her blog where she talks about happiness – happiness in the self, in relationships, and with the universe. Her spiritual journey is all about finding the knowledge to tap your inner strength and power.

5. The Diary of a Bibliophile – I love Emily’s mission to promote literacy by inspiring everyone to read. She posts a lot of different book recommendations based on themes like inspiration, female runners, photography, yoga and many other things.

Have you been inspired by any blogs and fellow bloggers? Please share your views and suggestions in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. 🙂

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
You can also follow me on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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Be Inspired!

Hello everyone!

So I’ve been inspired to clean up my act this week. You’ll know more about what I mean in tomorrow’s event Take-A-Step Thursday!

What step are you taking this Thursday? Share your inspired thoughts and actions by taking part in this original weekly feature!

Don’t forget to tag your post TakeAStepThursday and link back to the original post. 🙂

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
You can also follow me on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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Blogging 201 – Branding and Growth – Week 2 Recap

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Today is the last day of the fabulous two-week Blogging 201 course designed and organized by The Daily Post’s Blogging University. If you’re new to blogging, I suggest you start off with the Blogging 101: Zero to Hero 30-day course which covers all the basics and proceed to the Blogging 201: Branding and Growth 14-day course which is aimed at focusing your blog and growing your audience.

Last week I did a recap of the first week of the course, which you can read here. This week, we had some intensive assignments that required a lot of thought and a little bit of extra time:

Day 6: Dig Deep Into Your Social Network – This was aimed at increasing the blog’s social presence on one or more networks and mapping a 30-day outline on how to effectively use them. This also included adding widgets of your social networks on your blog and using the publicize and share tools in your post. I had already made my blog’s social presence on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’ prior to this course but I still have to outline an effective 30-day plan on how to use it. Any suggestions on how to organize a social media schedule or set some goals? 🙂

Day 7 – Make the Most of Events – This was about creating a recurring event, participating in other events or going to blogger conferences to increase engagement in the blogger community. I found this assignment so interesting  as I’ve always wanted to host a blog event but thought it would be more effective once I had this blog running for a longer time.  In the past week I’ve also participated in two bookish events – Top Ten Tuesday and The Book Worm Club.  After much thought and research, I created a weekly recurring event,  Take-A-Step Thursday because I wanted to know what sorts of things inspire people and what they are inspired to do as a result. I hope you will be inspired to participate. 🙂

Day 8 – Make your Blog a Hub – The purpose of this assignment was to collate online work and projects that you have done elsewhere and create a “Best of ” page on your blog to showcase your versatility.  At the moment, I don’t have any work published elsewhere, but I am looking into exploring more platforms and ideas that will inspire me. Would appreciate some suggestions on this.

Day 9 – The Buddy System –  Guest posting and cross-promotion was something that I had been considering for a while now, but wasn’t sure about since I am quite new in terms of readers and followers and I’ve only just started blogging regularly. I haven’t actively looked for a buddy yet, so if you’re interested in collaborating with me over topics like books and film or something new that we can come up with, I’m more  than happy to brainstorm with you. Please email me directly with the subject “Guest Posting/Blog Buddy” to chat about it. 😀

Day 10 – Give ‘Em What They Want – II – This is part two of the assignment we did last week where we focused on quantity or checking our blog’s statistics to figure out what kind of posts receive more attention and what time of day/night should we post to get noticed. This week we focused on the qualitative aspect of blogging where we could ask our readers anything we wished through a poll/survey. I would really appreciate you taking the time to fill my simple survey of 3 questions so I can work harder at improving. 🙂

I also want to point out here that when I checked my blog again in January after a long hiatus, I had 31 followers. My followers increased by 28 in the weeks leading up to the course when I started blogging again. But since the course started last week, I’ve had an increase of a further 52 followers! That is a whopping 47% increase in two weeks!! For that, I would like to THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! 😀

So would I recommend this course to new bloggers? ABSOLUTELY! Go do it, spend some time and work on your blog. Focusing on your content is of course a main priority but also learn how to sell your work and make your blog a brand! You’ll be so proud of your achievements after you’ve acquired some skills.

I’ve learnt so much during these past two weeks, things that I had no idea of when I started blogging again in January. I’ve stretched my blogging boundaries, started exercising my writing muscles, dabbled in the design of the blog, created a blogging event and participated in a couple of bookish blog events, received three awards from lovely bloggers, increased my presence on social media, found so many inspiring blogs, received so many lovely words of encouragement and support from fellow course participants, increased my followers by 47%  (I am still humbled by how that happened!) and made some wonderful friends through it all.  I call that a very successful two weeks indeed ! 😀

All the best! Happy Blogging!

You can email me at thistlesandwhistles@hotmail.com
You can also follow me on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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This Blog is for you!

Since I’ve started investing time on my blog in terms of its design, content, my interactions with other bloggers, and taking the amazing Blogging 201 course, I’ve learnt so much in just over a month with the help and support of so many of you out there!

I would just like to take a moment to THANK each one of you for your words of encouragement which have got me addicted to blogging and creating more meaningful content. So THANK YOU lovely readers, I really appreciate every comment, like and follow that I’ve received here and on social media ! 🙂 🙂

I would appreciate it if you could take a few moments to take the simple survey below to let me know how I am doing so far with the blog and how I can improve.

Thank you so much again and happy blogging! 🙂