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. 🙂

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Blogging 201 – Branding and Growth – Week 2 Recap


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!

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Blogging Event: The Book Worm Club by Jumbleskine

God Never Blinks  2

I’m very excited to be taking part in a new blogging event called The Book Worm Club that the lovely Mariella of Jumbleskine is hosting every Friday starting from today.

In this club, readers are invited to:
1. Blog about a favourite book they have read or one that they are currently reading and enjoying and would like to recommend to others.
2. Post a picture/image of the book.
3. Pingback to Jumbleskine’s post and use the hashtag #thebookwormclub.

When I decided to write this post this morning, I looked at my bookcase to decide which book I would talk about. In the past few years, I have read a lot of inspirational and motivational books to help me understand a lot more about myself. I have mentioned about this period of my life in an earlier post as well. An inspiring book that was on my to-read list was God Never Blinks by Regina Brett. A friend of mine who knew I wanted this particular book very kindly got this copy for me from a trip to Canada a couple of years ago.

This book is a compilation of 50 lessons that the author Regina Brett has learned from life. She had gone through some very difficult times in life from raising her child as a single parent to battling cancer and the lessons were originally published in a newspaper column she wrote when she turned fifty.

I consumed this book on the metro on my way to work every morning and the heartwarming personal stories and the wisdom that came out of them resonated deeply with me. The situations she has gone through are both general and specific, that thousands, including myself might have also experienced.

I found this book to be so charming, in the way that it is written and how inspiring it is without being over-bearing. One day, an elderly gentleman standing behind me on the metro even asked me the title of the book and I was pleased to be able to tell him about it. I think he may have read a page or two with me as I was reading it and obviously enjoyed it. Even my dad found this collection to be a winner.

Some of my favourite lesson titles are, “Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks”, “Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save anything for a special occasion. Today is special enough.” and “No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up for life.” 

But my favourite one that I loved was one I could definitely relate to completely right from the start. It was as if it was meant for me. The lesson is written in an anti-version of a “How to be a writer” and the title is, “A writer is someone who writes. If you want to be a writer, write.” I have mentioned a little bit about this lesson in my very first post.

How not to be a writer -Wait until a doctor says you’ve got six months to live. Die with your words still inside of you.

Final words – Please find some way to acquire this book. It’s relatable to all and a gem that everyone needs in their bookshelves.

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New Blogging Event! Take-A-Step Thursday!

TakeAStepThursday 2

Ever since I’ve started blogging, I’ve been so inspired by lovely bloggers who come up with great topics to talk about, events to participate in, challenges they’ve set for themselves and encouraging words and ideas that make me want to get my creative juices flowing!

There is no such thing as too much inspiration. Take-A-Step Thursday is an original weekly feature by Thistles and Whistles where you share your inspired thoughts and start a viral chain of positive actions and events !

What has inspired you this week? It could be anything from a book you’ve read, a quote from your Holy Scripture, a moving film you have watched, a cat video, DIY projects on Pinterest, a baby giggling, a beautiful photograph, the rising sun, your pets, a motivational clip – anything that has filled your mind with purpose to take a step and do something!

What have you been inspired to do as a result? Have you got an idea to create a scrapbook of travel photographs and memorabilia, join a book club, organize your drawers, renovate your home, make a bucket list, sky dive, write a book, clear out your email clutter, engage in some community events, volunteer at a pet shelter, make a personal manifesto, start a recycling program in your office, take a trip to another country or try an exotic recipe?

Here’s what you have to do:
1. Write a post of what has inspired you this week on Thursdays. Share a link or post a picture of your inspiration.
2. Include in the same post what you have been inspired to do as a result. Share your ideas. It could be the same thing you’ve been inspired to do (for eg. you saw a recipe and you’ve been inspired to make it as well) or it could be something entirely different. Posting your ideas on your blog will actually make you want to do it.
3. Tag your post TakeAStepThursday on WordPress and #TakeAStepThursday on Twitter and Instagram. 
4. Link back to this post. (Linking back to the blog Thistles and Whistles doesn’t give me a notification unfortunately).
6. Engage with other bloggers to share and receive some ideas and inspiration.

You can email me at
You can also follow me on Facebook , InstagramTwitter, Goodreads and BlogLovin’

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