the sunday post header

The Sunday Post // first week in my internship!!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Oh my gosh it’s been SO LONG since I posted a life update. I want to spend my time and make this post long and detailed but honestly I have other things to do as well so I’ll try to keep it short.

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.


Internship update

Technically my internship started on 16th but this was my first FULL week. It was hectic, I’m not going to lie. It didn’t leave me with a lot of time at home because I come around 8pm.

But, I am quite enjoying it. I tried socializing in the beginning but reached my socializing limit pretty soon. I am talking to new people but haven’t made any concrete friendships. It’s great that I have a couple friends from my college with me so I’m not alone most of the time.

The workspace and environment is GREAT. It’s awesome and I’m loving it so far. I’m not unhappy to spend that many hours in the office.

Reading Update

My reading challenge for this year is 150 books, same as last year. But it may appear that I was too optimistic. I’m ALREADY FALLING BEHIND on my challenge.

On the other hand, though, I am reading much more quality books than I did last year. By quality, I mean books about heavy topics and interesting fiction instead of a ton of romance. I still like romance, and have read one romance book, but that’s not my first pick.

The books I’ve been reading are also longer, so that adds to me falling behind on my challenge.

Currently I’m reading Kafka on the Shore by Karuki Murakami. I started it a couple weeks back but I’m CRAWLING through it. It’s not as good as I expected it would be because of the hype. I’m not enjoying it very much.

The pace picked up only at around 40% but until that I was not gripped by it. The fact that I was reading for barely 15 minutes a day also added to me going through it slowly.

I finally made a big dent in the book last night and now have only 100 pages left. I can’t wait to finish it. I think I’ll go for a fluffy YA contemporary or a rom-com next. I require a pick-me-up read now.

TV Show Update

Last Saturday and Sunday saw me binge on a reality TV series on Netflix called The Circle. I’ll be honest, the show is actually pretty trashy and overly fake. But it’s so entertaining! And it’s good as a min-numbing show to binge.

The show did have it’s meaningful moments, though. It’s based on social media so of course we talk about social media issues and things like catfishing and insecurities.

My favourite part of the show was this one contestant called Shubham. He’s Indian-American and the PUREST CUTEST person on the show. I loved him.

Book Club Meetup

Last Sunday, my Bangalore Bookstagram club met up and it was SO FUN. We went to a restaurant for lunch and chilled there for a long time. While I did go to two meetups last year (we have one every month), this meetup included many new people for me. We’ve spoken on the Whatsapp group but it was good to place faces to names and Instagram IDs.

All of us bonded very well and I made a ton of new friends and connections. The best part of the club is that we’re all brought together by books but we’re on totally different paths in life. There was quite a big age gap between the youngest and the oldest in attendance, and I was actually the second-youngest that day.

Book club peeps with our happy faces!

It was great to bond with people I wouldn’t have spoken to without this bringing us together. And it wasn’t awkward at all. We all had so much to talk about, especially on books.

After the lunch we hit a couple bookstores and I’m super happy to say that two people bought books on my recommendation. I can’t wait to see what they think about the books.

Friend’s birthday yesterday

After 5 long days of internship, I spent the whole day out yesterday as well.

One of my friends’ birthday was yesterday and since all of us hadn’t met in a long time, we decided to make a day out of it. The birthday friend invited all of us home and we had lunch there as well.

It was so nice, and I MISSED that. I missed hanging out with these guys so much and I don’t know how it’ll be if we aren’t able to meet for a long time.

The birthday friend is going to Canada around the end of this year, so this will be his last birthday here. That made the day a little emotional as well. It seems like we’re all heading towards different paths and I don’t want us to split so bad.

So yeah. I’m a little emotional now. But let’s move on.

Getting used to a 5 day week

All my life, I’ve had 6 day weeks. It was either school Monday to Saturday or college Monday to Saturday. All these years I made routines which involved only Sunday being off, and distributing small things throughout the weekday evenings.

But now, the timings are completely different. I get only nights Monday to Friday and whole days on Saturday and Sunday. For the first time ever, I’m experiencing an actual full weekend and I don’t know how to deal with this.

In fact, on Friday, I didn’t feel like the next day was going to be off. All week, I was ready to have a 6 day week. So, to have a Saturday suddenly off was weird.

As I’m not used to these timing, my blogging has fallen behind. In fact, I couldn’t blog all week. I’m just not used to having only the nights free, as opposed to evenings and nights. I don’t know if I’ll be able to blog in the coming week as well.

What I need to do ASAP is figure out a routine involving 5 full days and a full weekend off. I have to plan my blogging and hobbies around work hours instead of college hours. This has to be my first priority. Don’t know how long this will take, but I’ll probably update y’all on it soon.


And that’s all the updates I have for this week!

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

How has your last week been? Was it as filled and hectic as mine or more relaxed?

looking back at 2019 header

Looking back at 2019 // Life, Blog, Social Media

desk space where a person is journalling.
Image credit: Unsplash

Although it had many ups and downs, 2019 was a good year for me.

It was one of the best years I’ve had, and by far the best year of college. Because it was such a memorable year, with tons of happenings, I want to record all the highlights so that I can look back later.

All I could think about during New Year’s Eve, when I was supposed to be studying for the next day’s exam, was 2019 memories. I roughly drafted this post on the morning of 1st Jan during breakfast even though I was supposed to leave for college in 10 minutes. That’s how much I want to record the last year.

nostalgia. it's delicate. but potent.

Since I have a LOT to recap, I’ll try to keep each point short. Otherwise this post will never end lol.

LIFE

  • Medical ups and downs.

My platelet count, which has been low since my first year of college, finally edged back into the normal range. But we suddenly found a swelling on my neck which kept growing. It persisted throughout the year, and caused so many problems.

  • 7 months of gluten-free diet.

I went on a gluten-free diet from April through October, for medical reasons. It was really hard because it cut down most of what I can eat outside, and meant that I mostly only ate at home.

  • First ER visit & hospitalization.

I was rushed to the hospital Emergency ward in the end of October due to breathlessness, caused by my swelling which suddenly kept increasing. And I stayed in the hospital, hooked up to IV and doing several tests, for three days. I absolutely hated that hospital stay, and hate that hospital now.

  • My relationship with my dad fractured.

It was barely hanging in the first place. I don’t know if we’ll be able to recover from this, and I’m not sure I want us to.

  • I cultivated my existing friendships over making new ones.

2018 was all about making new friends and getting out of my shell. But last year I spent a lot of time becoming closer to the friends I had, than reaching out to new people. It’s not to say that I didn’t make new friends, I did, but they’re fewer. My group is a tight-knit tribe now, because all of us spent a lot of time hanging out.

Happy hug GIF from Jane the Virgin
  • I got a job!

I was very worried about this, and I’m super glad I managed to get a job. My internship there starts this month, and it’s very exciting to think about.

  • Started choosing brighter colours.

I hated bright colours because they grab attention and I basically wanted to not be seen. Red & yellow were the worst. For many years my favourite colours were brown, dark purple, and then dark shades of blue. But last year, my favourite colour changed to pink. Not only that, but light pink! And I even began buying clothes which are yellow or red. It’s a huge change, which reflects my confidence.

  • I was open to many new plans.

I met up with tons of new people, and even suggested meetups myself. The most notable are meets with my Bangalore bookstagram club and meeting up with people from my last internship.

  • Made very many memories.

Especially the small ones. The most cherished times were everyday things from hanging out at our college’s canteen, to playing cards and other things.

girl working on her laptop

BLOGGING

  • Blogging fell to the wayside during multiple months.

I prioritized life things over blogging, and let my blog go without new posts for months together. The worst part was that I didn’t even read other blogs much during the time. By the end of that spell, I was disappointed in myself for doing that. While my priority choices were right, I could have put more effort into blogging.

  • Very many personal posts.

When I started blogging, I did a lot of personal posts but as I immersed into the blogging world, I restricted most of my posts to the bookish zone. Inadvertently, I put myself into a niche even though I didn’t want that. 2019 changed that, because I had SO MANY THINGS to talk about and wanted to share my life with everyone.

  • Hit 1.5k followers, 50k total views, and 700 total posts.

Achievements and milestones!!!

  • Struggled to decide where I want to go with this blog.

Since I was being irregular, I was confining myself to keep it as just a hobby. But I also have the dream of making it a side hustle, which will take a lot of work. It’s very exciting to think of. But in 2019, I was very undecided throughout the year.

  • My blog started coming up high in search engines!

In fact, the most number of views this blog currently receives is from search engines. Few of my posts have become really popular, I don’t know how, and garner so many views.

  • Engagement from the WordPress community reduced.

I’m not able to pinpoint why, but the engagement from WordPress reader has considerably reduced from past years. That’s quite sad because they’re my original reader base, and the ones I used to interact a lot with.

  • Blogmas!

I’m super glad that I did blogmas this time, and I managed to blog ALL 25 DAYS. That’s.. wow. Surprised myself, honestly. Click here to see my blogmas posts.

person using Instagram on their phone

SOCIAL MEDIA

I was only doing short themes, but in 2019 I tried outdoor photos, themeless feed and I did some experimenting with the posts. 2019 was also the year when I first put up my face on the account, which I had never done before.

  • Struggled a lot with motivation.

Especially because of the engagement drop in Instagram. It was very discouraging and it made me want to give up on my bookstagram multiple times. I even did a whole post with my thoughts on Instagram.

I considered monetizing it, but signing up on paypal gave me issues as it wasn’t accepting my ID. And somewhere during the beginning of 2019, I didn’t feel very inclined towards that account, and my activity went down. It took a backseat to @thewordyhabitat, and I wholly regret that.

  • My twitter was just… I don’t know.

I started being more active there, and started using Hootsuite to schedule promo tweets for the blog. But otherwise, I’m just enjoying seeing my twitter feed over actually putting content there myself.

  • Struggled to find my place in social media, overall.

My goals and my vision for my social media was completely unclear. I just kept doing something, but in my head, the end picture was not formed at all.

messy desk workspace picture

This year, I have some sense of direction because I figured out what I want to do, mostly. I have goals and action plans, and hopefully it will lead to the right end vision.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

How is your 2019 in review? Was it good, or was it disappointing?

Happy New Year!

It’s been almost 4 years since I started blogging, and it’s been quite a journey. Every year is filled with changes, new opportunities, and growth. Through it all, this blog has grown with me.

I haven’t said this in a while, so thank you to everyone who takes time out of their busy days to read my posts. This blog is my main hobby and I pour all of myself into it, and it feels great to see people reading and commenting here. Thank you very much ❤

Happy new year everyone, and I hope you have a great year ahead!

blogmas 2019 header image

Merry Christmas! & End of Blogmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

I’m sitting at home, about to start studying for my next final, but I hope you have a very nice day.

Christmas also marks the last day of Blogmas. It’s slightly shocking that I made it without skipping a single day? I blogged every day from 1st to today and it’s… phew. Blogmas is not easy.

I’m super glad to have done Blogmas because it pushed me to see how much I can manage my time to blog. and because it made me write and post many pending ideas. I learnt how to manage my time to suddenly blog everyday, and how to blog in advance so I’m prepared for the days when I can’t blog. I did daily blog back in 2016 but Blogmas was more intense this time because of my many other plans and things to do.

But. I’m glad Blogmas is over, not gonna lie. I’m ready to go back to a laid back blogging pace where I can take my time making every post good. And I won’t have to compromise on other things to blog, like lazying around and gaming haha.

Anyway, I’ll stop talking since I don’t really have much to say.

If you haven’t seen my posts during Blogmas, check them out! Here are all the links below.

Day 1 – Hello Blogmas!

Day 2 – December ’19 Bullet Journal Setup

Day 3 – The Knight Before Christmas // Movie Review

Day 4 – (life update) if we were having tea… // 04-12-2019

Day 5 – (book review) Heads You Win || highly captivating

Day 6 – Let’s Talk Bookish // Content Warnings For Books

Day 7 – Let’s Chat // Spotify Wrapped, YouTube Rewind, New Music by Taylor Swift, Halsey

Day 8 – Christmas Jars // Movie Review + Giveaway

Day 9 – (blogging tips) How to Consistently Blog Without Tiring Yourself Out (Part 1)

Day 10 – Top 10 Romance Reads of 2019

Day 11 – (book review) Wilder Girls || gory and creepy

Day 12 – My First First Love // Kdrama Review

Day 13 – All I Want For Christmas Book Tag

Day 14 – Songs On Repeat // blogmas edition

Day 15 – (life update) The Sunday Post // blogging, studying, REPEAT

Day 16 – My Favourite 2019 Blogging Moments Tag

Day 17 – (book review) The Gilded Wolves || full of adventure

Day 18 – A-Z Reading Challenge 2019

Day 19 – (book review) Maybe This Time || so adorable

Day 20 – I’m joining #StartOnYourShelfathon! + Jan TBR

Day 21 – (life update) if we were having tea… // 21-12-2019

Day 22 – thoughts on Instagram

Day 23 – (book review) Shortcake || slow burn hate-to-love romance

Day 24 – 2020 Reading Challenges and Readathons I’m participating in

And today’s day 25!

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

How is/was your Christmas? Do you have plans for New Year’s Eve?

blogmas 2019 header image

2020 Reading Challenges and Readathons I'm participating in

2020 is right around the corner and I am excited.

The upcoming year is the start to a new decade and the start to tons of new life experiences and opportunities. Everyone is abuzz with hopes and huge bucket lists and ambitious plans.

Going into 2020, I’m obviously going to keep up with my reading and am planning on making my reading a little bit more fun. Over the past month, I’ve seen SO MANY announcements for 2020 year-long readathons and reading challenges. It’s overwhelming to decide from several amazing options, but I’ve managed to decide on a few of them.

Now, I generally don’t participate in year-long reading challenges because I tend to forget about them. But this time, there are groups for these ones and friends from my bookstagram club are joining in as well. Hopefully, this will help me not forget and actually finish these challenges.

an open book

Totally, I’m participating in 5(!!!!) reading challenges this year.

[1] Goodreads Reading Challenge

This is a staple for me every year. I’ve been participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge since 2015 and it’s a great way to track your reading.

How this works: it’s a very flexible challenge because the goal is set by you. The goal is the number of books you want to read next year, and using Goodreads* helps track your reading. All the math about whether you’re behind or ahead in your reading is done by Goodreads to help you keep track of your status.

My goal is 150 books, the same as 2019. Usually I stay ahead of my goal and manage to surpass it early enough but it wasn’t so this year. I barely managed to hit my goal. Because of that, I’m not increasing my goal next year. It would be nice to read more, but 150 is what I’m aiming for.

*by marking books as “read” along with the dates on the website

[2] A-Z Reading Challenge

This is another staple. I don’t consciously put effort for this every year. It’s more of an afterthought at the end of the year where I look back and see if I managed to get all the letters done. It’s just fun to look back and see how many you’ve managed to fill. This is also a very low effort challenge.

How it works: You read a book starting with every letter of the alphabet, with an exception for a few letters. See this post to know more.

me standing with my kindle

[3] South-Asian Reading Challenge 2020

Fanna @ fannatality came up with this brilliant reading challenge which aims to put more focus on South-Asian books and diversify our reading. More details about the challenge haven’t been released yet but I’m super excited to participate.

Click here to see the announcement post.

[4] #StartOnYourShelfathon

CW @ The Quiet Pond came up with this idea because she has a ton of backlist books on her physical which needed to be read last year. When she posted the idea on twitter and received a ton of positive response, she made up this AMAZING reading challenge.

To be honest, I don’t really need to be participating because my backlist books aren’t that many, but I want to just for the aesthetics and activities within this challenge. It’s very tempting.

The best part of this is that it doesn’t have prompts so I can mix it up with other reading challenges as well. Flexible challenges are my jam.

Click here to see my joining post and TBR!

me standing next to a stack of books of almost my height.

[5] 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge

I found this challenge purely by luck after it was shared in a book group that I’m in. The challenge has a total of 50 prompts (a lot, I know). I was very unsure of joining this one because of the amount of effort it will take to find books for the prompts, and the large number of prompts.

After deliberating for a whole day, I decided that I might as well give it a go. I haven’t participating in a reading challenge like this before and I really want to try. Plus, the prompts are so good and interesting! They will definitely push me out of my comfort zone and introduce some new books.

Click here to see the official post.


If I said that I’m not overwhelmed at all by the thought of taking on all of these challenges, it would be a lie. But since most of them are flexible and can be mixed with other challenges, it should be doable as long as I plan my reads right.

I’ve already started planning on how to tackle the Popsugar challenge with #StartOnYourShelfathon bu choosing books that I own which fits some Popsugar prompts. I think I can do this.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

Are you participating in any challenges for 2020? Reading or otherwise?

thoughts on Instagram

Instagram is one of the most popular social media streams that are currently in use, and it comes with new advantages and challenges.

The social media app has been around for a long time now, and its STILL rapidly growing. More and more people are registering for it everyday, and there are TONNES of accounts and account types to look through and stalk.

But.

Let’s be honest, right now, Instagram is a hot mess.

person using Instagram on their phone

One one hand, the app is doing SO WELL. Cases in point:

  • The multiple communities formed. We have the study community, the bullet journal community, the book community, the aesthetic accounts, the meme accounts, and so many more categories. Whatever you’re looking for is available in large numbers.
  • Instagram trends. There are new trends everyday and there are different trends in every community. It brings people back to the app to see what’s new and trending so that everyone can keep themselves up to date.
  • Stories. When they first introduced stories, we were all really skeptic, but stories have actually taken off! In fact, more people look at and engage with stories than they do with normal posts on their feed.
  • Since the entire app is based around visuals, it’s perfect for capturing attention quickly. In this super fast world where we are all racing and want to spend lesser time on everything, pictures and visuals are on the top of the game. Because of this, businesses and consumers both highly benefit from this app.
  • It’s provided a perfect platform for photographers and artists to showcase their work. It has also encouraged more people to get into photography and try new and unique styles.

There are many more points which I’m not mentioning, but these are enough to showcase just how successful this app has been. But on the other hand, Instagram does have it’s flaws. Cases in point:

  • It can become toxic. If you’re on Instagram to personally follow the lives of friends and acquaintances, the app has a huge hold over your mental health. The talk about Instagram being a “filter” and only showing the good sides has been around for a long time so I won’t bother explaining that.
  • It sucks your time like a black hole. Because it’s so easy to consume content in very short amounts of time, you tend to spend more time on the app. I know many people who spend HOURS of their time just scrolling on Instagram. While its good to consume content, it’s not as useful unless it helps you in any way. If you’re an influencer, or work in a graphics/visual-related career, understanding the trends on Instagram is required. But otherwise, it’s A HUGE WASTE OF TIME.
  • Some of the updates on Instagram are complete trash. As Instagram adds more and more features, the usability of the app is degrading. I’m not sure if this is just me, but I find that I much prefer lesser options to click and swipe through than the number of options available on the app right now. There are too many buttons, swipes and taps now, which makes the usability flow messy.
  • Let’s not even talk about the algorithm which makes it hard for influencers. We’ll be here all day with that.
  • Also, the app is currently a NIGHTMARE for people using accessibility tools. And it’s definitely a challenge for creators of accessibility tools.

Everything in this world has pros and cons, and obviously Instagram can’t be free of that. But I would like to point out one thing. Instagram today is wildly different than the vision it started out with. Remember Instagram when it first caught wind? It was all about people sharing their lives through pictures, and text NOT being the focal point. At that time, every social media platform we used centered around text so this was very new and exciting. The app was simple to use, had very few user actions which ensured that our attention was on the pictures on our feeds, and was cohesive. The explore page was just that, used to simply explore new accounts and content which we might like.

Today’s Instagram does not feel cohesive. Sure, they’re incorporating multiple elements related to visuals but does it actually feel cohesive? We have the main feed, then we have the stories, then there’s IGTV. These three things itself are entirely separate sections with accompanying extra features of their own. Our explore pages don’t feel appealing anymore because of the IGTV videos included in and the options on top for various genres.

The main drawback is that we spend minimal time looking at our feeds. Ever since stories arrived, we keep going through them instead of the content on our feeds. Because tapping to go to next story is easier than swiping and double tapping etc. We users are lazy and it’s shifted the entire dynamic of the app’s usage.

Speaking of the changed app usage dynamic, can I just rant about the 101 things on screen? Right as we open the app, we have multiple things popping up and fighting to grab our attention. The short attention span of users is fully exploited by constantly changing where our attention is pulled.

For example, the latest Instagram update which puts a red dot next to your account name to indicate new notifications in ANY of your accounts. So there’s a red dot that’s constantly pinging my attention to tell me that there are outstanding notifications in some account of mine. This may seem good, but it’s not for people like me who can’t ignore notifications. I can’t leave messages unread or notifications unseen. I can’t ignore them, and usually clear them all off as soon as I can.

If you’re thinking “why not just clear the notifications so the red dot will disappear?”, it’s not possible with a larger account. One of my accounts receives notifications CONSTANTLY and I have blocked notifications from the app because of that. Since I blocked them, notifications from that account don’t bother me unless I open that specific account. With this new update, those notifications cause the red dot to be persistent in every account which drives me nuts.

Another update which I’m on the fence about is the categorizing of accounts you follow. It’s great to know whom you’re interacting with less, so that you can correct it, but I’m not happy that it takes me so many taps to get to that point. That function is BURIED somewhere under several other things.

There are users who are good with all the distraction and multiple things on screen, but there are users like me who like our screen and usage to be simple. With every Instagram update, the UI feels more messy, which discourages me from using the app. Instagram is repelling me at this point. In fact, my daily average is 30 minutes with all three of my accounts. I spend minimal time using the app because just looking at it’s screen drains my energy.

I am not an avid user of the app, and would open another app if I can. Aesthetics are available on Pinterest as well, and trends are much better seen on Twitter. My Instagram usage has been declining over the past few months, and it has hit a low this month because of blogmas taking up my time. And this has made me realize that I don’t particularly like the app. I don’t miss it, and there is nothing I’m missing out on by not using it.

Bookstagram is a wonderful place with all the book aesthetics to make my heart warm, and I really like taking and posting my own pictures. But this time away has shown me that it’s not that great. I’ve been irregular in posting and viewing for the last month and I feel nothing. There’s a picture in my camera roll ready to be posted from two weeks but I don’t have any urgency to post and be regular on bookstagram. It’s quite liberating, I won’t lie. And now I’m actually considering deleting my bookstagram account.

It’s just a thought so far, and there are pros and cons to it as well. I like that all the bookish content is separated from personal content (which is on another account). And I don’t want to mix it up. So right now, I’m thinking I’ll keep the account but only use it when I really feel like it. While it means irregular posts from it, this also does mean that whatever I post will truly be something I want to share. There won’t be any posts just because I’m forced to stay consistent.

The same goes for the entire app, to be honest. From now on, I’ve decided to not feel any responsibility towards my accounts and only do what I feel like, even if it means not opening the app for days at end. There will be new photos only if I really feel like taking them. Although I might use stories regularly, but they will also be less, as they have been this past month.

Wow this post is nearing 1.5k words so I will stop. If you’ve stuck through with me this far, thanks for lending me your precious time!

What are your thoughts on Instagram? Are you on board with all the new updates?

if we were having tea header image

if we were having tea… // 21-12-2019

Hello!

I’ve been running ragged concentrating on studying for my finals in the last few days, and I really felt like having a casual chat, so here we are with some tea again!*

*I’m actually having tea while writing this so it’s the perfect feel.

a steaming cup of tea gif

If we were having tea… I’d first comment on how it’s been quite a while since we last met up with tea. That was back when blogmas had just begun and I was worried about making it to the end. It’s now the 21st and I’m almost at the end! This has been a really good run and while I really liked doing blogmas, I miss taking my time with posts.

If we were having tea… I’d give you an update on my health. The last time we had tea I was sick and worried that it would escalate, but it thankfully didn’t! I took meds right on time and am now well enough.

If we were having tea… you might ask me about my finals. As of now, two of my theory exams have ended. (Yes, only two out of five) But the second subject which I had on 19th was the subject I was very worried about, and it went much better than expected. It feels like a huge load off my shoulders to have that subject done with.

If we were having tea… I would comment on how lofi mixes really help me when studying. Every time finals come around, I find a new support system to help me study. In the previous years, it has been the pomodoro method, the Forest app, study with me videos on YouTube, and my own playlists. This time, I found lofi mixes and they’re really helping me keep my concentration. There are some really good mixes on YouTube and just playing them gets me into the mood for studying.

If we were having tea… I would brag that I hit my Goodreads reading goal of the year! I finished my 150th book of the year a couple days back and Goodreads congratulated me with confetti on my screen. It was a really nice feeling. This is the first year that I’ve cut it so close to the end. Usually I finish my goal at least a month in advance, and then I increase my goal a little. But this time, my original goal itself took a long time. Phew.

If we were having tea… you would hear about my latest read which is Get A Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. I’ve read a couple books by the author before but this book is probably the popular in the book world. So many people have read it and raved about it. I finally started reading it yesterday, and I’m enjoying it so far.

If we were having tea… I’d tell you that I’m participating on 3 extra readathons next year. Back when I tried to do one in 2017, I forgot about it half-way through the year. But this time, I have groups and friends online who are doing it with me so I’m hoping they’ll keep me in check and motivate me to complete the challenges and readathons. Yesterday’s blog post was the joining post for one of them. I’ll make a blog post talking about all the ones I’m doing next year in one place, so keep an eye out for that!

If we were having tea… I’d tell you that I cannot wait for exams to end. I have so many half-baked plans in my head, and I want to do them all. The first thing on my agenda is to visit a coffee shop nearby which has some special Christmas coffee flavours right now, and I want to try them before they’re gone forever. I might just go for it before exams end, because I’m not sure they’ll still be available in Jan.

If we were having tea… you would hear me talk about how life is SO BORING during finals. I can’t properly enjoy anything without the guilt that I’m not studying, so I don’t go out anywhere. And our finals last for two weeks which is ANNOYING. I take mini vacations of half days or one day between exams to enjoy without guilt. And then, it’s back. Ugh. Even as I’m having tea with you now, 20% of my mind in the background is saying that I should be studying. I hate that our finals go on for so long. But, this is the last semester it’ll be this long. Next semester, which is my last in college, has only 3 subjects so it should be shorter. Let’s hope.


And now, I need to say goodbye because my guilt about not studying is weighing on me heavily. Need to get back to my Machine Learning notes. See you next time!

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

If we were having tea together, what would you say to me?

startonyourshelfathon banner

I'm joining #StartOnYourShelfAThon! + Jan TBR

There are so many interesting readathons and challenges planned for 2020, and I’m a sucker for many of them.

When CW first tweeted with her readathon idea, I was all for it, and eagerly awaited her announcement post. I knew that this would definitely be one of the challenges that I do.

#StartOnYourShelfathon is a readathon where the main goal is to prioritize reading books you already own (physical or electronic). To be honest, I don’t do very badly* with my unread books. I don’t have that many unread physical or electronic books. BUT. The books I do have tend to be ignored for a long time.

For me, the goal is to use this challenge to not neglect the books I own longer, especially physical copies.

*meaning, better than what I consider to be a problem haha

If you’d like to know more about this year-long readathon or would like to join in, go on over to The Quiet Pond where CW has written an impressive post with the most beautiful graphics*. She’s also done AMAZING planning for this readathon, completely infusing it with new elements and fun things. I’m super excited to join in.

*in fact, I took the banner for this post from her! Isn’t it gorgeous?

MY PLAN

Although the readathon has technically already started, I’m joining in from next month and will be doing it as a 2020 thing.

My goals will be broken down to months. Some months may have more books on the TBR, and some might have less, but I will be reading at least 1 book every month for this challenge. Meaning, from my owned books, prioritizing the oldest ones.

CW has had a brilliant idea to also make a Discord server for the readathon in case we want to chat. I will be joining the Discord server. While I’m not sure how that will work or how much I’ll be talking there, that’s the part which actually drew me in. I’ve never seen Discord being used for reading challenges before so this will be a ton of fun.

To keep track of the readathon, I will be doing updates posts in April, August and December 2020, along with the star maps to track my progress and make my own constellation.

JANUARY TBR

That all said, time to set my first TBR for the challenge! I’ve decided on 5 books for January.

  • Kafka On The Shore by Haruku Murakami

I own this book as a paperback and it’s been sitting on my shelf for MONTHS. Since it’s bought from a secondhand bookstore, I can sell it back for half the price to buy more books. Definitely have a plan to go and get more books so I need to finish this one haha.

  • The Silva Mind Control Method by José Silva

My friend lent me this book a long time back saying it would be helpful for my mental health and how I deal with my shitty physical health. I read a bit of it but since it’s non-fiction, I can’t be motivated to read it. Hopefully, because of this readathon, I finish reading it once before starting to practice it.

  • Stillwatch by Mary Higgins Clark

I bought this book back in February 2019 in a book fair, and I don’t know why I still haven’t read it. It’s pretty small, and the author’s books are always engaging, so it should a quick read.

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama

This mammoth of a book is my real challenge in January. I own it as an ebook, and have started it, but have not made much progress yet.

  • I Owe You by Sophie Kinsella

Since I know that I will be reading romance at least once, better to check off an old ebook which I know I will enjoy. Kinsella never disappoints me and I’m looking forward to read this one.


And that’s my TBR! A few people from my Bangalore Bookstagram club are also planning on joining in for this readathon, so I will have company to do this. Hopefully they’ll remind me to follow this haha.

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

Are you participating in any challenges or readathons next year? Do you think they are helpful?

blogmas 2019 header image

My Favourite 2019 Blogging Moments Tag

Hey everyone!

It’s been a long year with ups and downs in blogging for me. I wanted to somehow round it up and found the perfect tag by Laura @ the book corps. It’s her original tag and she’s made a great one.


RULES:

  1. All the answers must be about your blog posts.
  2. Please link the original creator of the tag!
  3. You don’t have to provide just one post for each question, you can provide as many as you want so long as they were written in 2019.
  4. If you haven’t written a post that matches one of the questions, choose one that relates to it as close as possible.
  5. Tag 5+ bloggers to they can share their accomplishments too! And make sure you read the posts they share!

WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK REVIEW?

the friend zone book cover

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

My favourite book reviews are directly proportional to how much I like the books lol. If I like a book more, I put more effort into the review. I quite liked The Friend Zone, and I really liked writing the review for it.

Also, I changed my reviewing format halfway into 2019, so I’m not counting any of my reviews before that haha. Now that I changed my format, I just like this one SO MUCH BETTER. I don’t even like looking at the previous ones.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DISCUSSION POST?

what blogging is actually like image

What Blogging is Actually Like // 10 TRUE FACTS About Blogging

This post was in the making for quite a while. When I was thinking up post ideas one day, because I was in a creative ideating mood, I came up with this post. There are small things about blogging which aren’t technically what blogging is about, but comes with the hobby. I simply wanted to share and lament over them, and bond over this hobby with everyone else.

Writing this post took up quite some time, and I spent a lot of time on deciding what to write and how to format it. But it was really fun and I like reading that post myself.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE FUN POST?

i.e. a post that doesn’t fall under a particular category like reviews, discussions or tags do.

me with an open book and a cup of tea

THINGS I COULD DO INSTEAD OF READING

This post was written partly for shits and giggles, because I don’t really want to be reading less and I don’t regret reading so much. But there are times when reading takes away time for other random things that I could be doing. I wrote all of the things I would do if reading wasn’t my #1 priority.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK RECOMMENDATION POST?

top ten tuesday header image

FAVOURITE BOOK TROPES

This post was written in response to a Top Ten Tuesday prompt for favourite book tropes. I mentioned all my favourites tropes and recommended five books for every trope. This was fun to think about, because I never thought of my favourite tropes past top three. I had to go through my Goodreads and see what other tropes jumped out from my favourites, and then find more books to recommend for that trope.


WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK/BOOKISH PHOTO?

a row of books with the letters H and M, featuring Haruki Murakami books.

I really like this photo. I took this back when I was doing a cluttered, reds/oranges/pinks theme for Instagram. This theme pushed me to add many things in the frame and go all out on eye-catching colours. This photo is my favourite because of the letters. One of my friends made the letters to make up my nickname “chume”, from which I borrowed H and M for this photo to talk about Haruki Murakami. Here’s the original Instagram post.*

*shameless plug, but follow me on Instagram for more pretty pictures!


WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ORIGINAL IDEA/BLOG POST?

the winternight trilogy discussion and review header image

THE WINTERNIGHT TRILOGY // REVIEW + DISCUSSION WITH TEENU

Not sure how original this is, but this was one that I came up on the fly. I didn’t buddy read this trilogy with Teenu but we did read it around the same time. The normal review style was becoming kind of boring, and I wanted to do some kind of discussion because I NEEDED TO TALK about this trilogy. And so, this blog post was born!

Teenu and I basically just discussed with free reign over text. Later, I compiled all of our texts and rearranged them so they make some sense to the readers. It took a LONG time for me to put together, but I’m really glad with it.


WHAT’S YOUR ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE BLOG POST YOU WROTE THIS YEAR?

kill me heal me header image

KILL ME, HEAL ME // KDRAMA REVIEW

My enjoyment of writing a review is directly proportional to how much I liked what I’m reviewing. Kill Me, Heal Me is my #1 Kdrama right now, and I HAD to do justice to it in my review. I spent a LONG time for this blog post. After the drama, I wrote a lot of notes in my bullet journal. Then I let myself think over it for a month or so and come up with more before actually writing the review.

Talking about it, and putting my thoughts down with images and everything, was really nice. I really like how it turned out as well. And I’m pretty sure others like it too because it receives quite a bit of attention from search engines haha.


HAVE YOU REACHED ANY BLOGGING ACHIEVEMENTS THIS YEAR?

girl working on her laptop

I actually have quite a few!

I GET MOST OF MY VIEWS FROM SEARCH ENGINES.

Many of my posts have made their way to front pages when similar terms are searched. In fact, if you search “Doctor Stranger review”, my review is the first result to come up! It also shows up for variations of the term. My review of W: Two Worlds and Kill Me, Heal Me have made their way to the first few links as well.

My book reviews are getting attention from search engines too! My posts on Everything, Everything, Girl Online Going Solo, and Genuine Fraud are the most popular from search engines.

And what I’ve mentioned above aren’t the only posts to be seen from search engines. There are many more, which leads to most of my views coming from search engines. Doctor Stranger review alone has received over 4000 views!!! When I first realized, I was amazed and I continue to be as this blog grows.

I HIT 50K VIEWS AND 30K VISITORS IN TOTAL.

It was surreal to open my insights page notice that over 30,000 people have visited my blog and thought it’s worth it. I was so happy to see this.

MY BLOG NOW HAS OVER 700 POSTS!

Over the years, I’ve been writing posts and my motivation to blog has just been growing. It’s so weird to think that I’ve written hundreds of posts. This blog literally contains most of my thoughts and opinions from the last few years.

I ALSO REACHED 1600 FOLLOWERS RECENTLY

My follower count has been steadily increasing and the number hit 1600 just a couple weeks back. Again, this is so cool!

While 2019 has had it’s ups and downs for my blog, downs particularly in my blogging slumps, it’s had quite a few ups in the attention it’s been receiving. I’m so grateful that my blog is considered worth it and that people keep coming back.


I TAG..

Charley @ The Miss Charley | KayCee @ Wonderstruck | Kelly @ Dream in Lace | Jenna @ Bookmark Your Thoughts | Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca | Emer @ A Little Haze Book Blog

What were your favourite moments of 2019, blogging or otherwise?

the sunday post header

The Sunday Post // blogging, studying, REPEAT

Hey everyone!

It’s been quite a while since I did a Sunday post. While my last week hasn’t been full, I do have updates so let’s get onto it!

The Sunday Post is a weekly blogging meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

FINALS UPDATE

My lab finals are over!!! I am done with ALL MY LABS IN COLLEGE. In Engineering. I. am. done. We don’t have any labs to take next semester, so I’m super glad. To be honest, the labs weren’t all that bad, but some labs were pretty difficult. Good to see it all done with.

While I’m done with my labs, theory is still left. Theory finals start tomorrow and while I’m nervous, I also want time to go by really quick and be done with them. The sad part is that my finals go on for a while. The last final is on the 1st of Jan. Yes, no holidays for Christmas and no scope for a New Year’s Eve celebration. Also no real celebration for my birthday. But, this is the last year we have to deal with this. After this year, no more exams during holidays and birthdays*. Woohoo!

*can you tell that I’m waiting for college to end?

BLOGMAS UPDATE

Y’all. I do not remember Blogmas being this hard. The last time I did it was also when I had finals in college, but I remember it as this easy breezy thing! I guess we can attribute it being harder now to the fact that I spend a lot more time on every blog post than I used to.

The one thing that has kept me going is planning. I am making sure I plan out my next blogging steps every single day. This has helped me blog two posts on some days, allowing me to take off on other days.

In the last few days, I’ve been super charged on blogging and planning to schedule blog posts in advance so that my final on 19th doesn’t get affected. The subject on that day is pretty hard* and I struggle with it. Need to give it all my attention, so I cannot worry about blogging.

So my routine has become blogging and studying, with breaks in the middle for reading and Netflix.

*only half the students passed last year. whelp.

On another note, is it just me or is there lesser interactivity during blogmas this time? I remember in 2017, and even 2018, the hype and talk about blogmas was SO MUCH. Bloggers were constantly blog-hopping and commenting and making new friends. While I didn’t participate last year, I still went around checking out a lot of blogs. That cheer and interaction seems to be missing this time.

One of the reasons blogmas is helpful for bloggers is because it brings in a lot of traction and gives more exposure to blogs. It’s an event where, if you participate, your blog will certainly grow and you’ll get more views during the event. But this time, I’m noticing lesser traction than even on other months. And I know it’s not just my blog because I’ve been noticing a lack of comments on other blogs as well when I blog-hop.

So yeah, that’s saddening to see.

WHAT I READ

Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters. This book was on my radar before it’s release because it sounds so good, and it had some hype amongst the romance readers. I was not disappointed AT ALL. This book is super cute, has a very new plotline which I haven’t seen before, and it gave me all the good feels.

I reread Rock Solid by Carly Phillips and Erika Wilde because I was in the mood for a feel-good book but without any suspense because I needed to get back to studying. Exam times are usually when I reread books because I’m guaranteed to love them and since I know how they end, I’m not compelled to say “just one more chapter” instead of studying.

Other than the Goodreads Reading challenge, I also do the A-Z Reading Challenge every year. This year I was SO CLOSE without consciously trying, with 24 out of 26 letters done. The left over letters were Q and Y, and I thought I’d quickly finish them up so I can complete this challenge for the first time EVER.

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman is a short story which I already had on a recommendation, but didn’t read yet even though I’ve had it for a long time. Since it’s short and fits the prompt, I finally read it. It was a very interesting and insightful read.

The last book I read was Queen of Nothing by Holly Black. I was planning on reading this anyway but I read it earlier to finish the challenge. Since I read it very fast, I didn’t have time to analyze things as I read. I thought I liked it when I finished the book, but once I started discussing with a friend and actually thought about it, my opinions changed.

While the plot was good, I hated the ending and the book felt quite rushed. My friend and I agree that it could have been done much better because The Wicked King had set up everything perfectly. This book was a let-down after The Wicked King.

WHAT I WATCHED

Meal times are when I actually spend time watching Netflix. So thrice a day I open Netflix to watch one episode every time. Since it’s exam time and I need to NOT have a binge-able show*, I needed a show which didn’t have continuity.

Enter Tiny House Nation. Interiors-based show sounded like a good option, plus I love aesthetics. I started it a couple weeks back and it’s REALLY GOOD. Without realizing, I finished it a couple days back and I was SO SAD. It’s too good a show and I wish it had many more episodes.

After Tiny House Nation, I needed another such show to watch. I considered going back to Queer Eye, which I stopped in season 2. But the episode that I started with was intense and I need no emotions. The intensity reminded me that almost every episode of Queer Eye made me cry before, and hence I stopped it again.

On a friend’s insistence, I started Sugar Rush yesterday. It’s good, but the episodes feel very draggy and too long, even though they’re the same duration as Tiny House Nation episodes. It’s just not as captivating. I’ll give it a few more chances and then see if I should find a new show.

*I’m a huge binge-watcher and won’t leave until I finish the show if it has continuity.


And that’s it for my updates this week!

Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest

How was your week? Did you watch or read anything?

blogmas 2019 header image

All I Want For Christmas Book Tag

Hey everyone! We’re halfway through blogmas!

When I decided to do blogmas, I was very worried about whether I’ll be able to make it, but now that it’s half-way through and I’m still going somewhat strong, I have hope!

Since there is (clearly) a lack of Christmassy posts on my blog, I thought I’d add a little holiday cheer in by doing a Christmas book tag. I found this tag on Sophie’s Corner while blog-hopping a couple days back and thought it would be perfect to do.


[1] What fictional character do you want Santa to leave under your Christmas tree?

Jem Carstairs! I haven’t read The Infernal Devices in years but Jem will forever be one of my favourite fictional crushes because he’s a GEM*.

*haha see what I did there. I should shut up.

[2] What character do you want to kiss under the mistletoe?

Um. Do I have to think of a romantically single character for this? Imma just say Josh Im from Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating.

me sitting with my stacks of books haha.

[3] You write your Christmas list for Santa, what are the top 5 books on it?

  • A Match Made in Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai. I. WANT. THIS. It sounds tooooo good and I want it in my hands.
  • Six of Crows collectors edition!!!! It’s too pretty.
  • And of course, Crooked Kingdom collector’s edition too.
  • Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talie Hibbert.
  • Well Met by Jen DeLuca.

[4] It’s secret Santa at Hogwarts, what do you most want to receive?

A time turner, because I want to do SO MUCH everyday and I need more than 24 hours haha. I’ve noticed just how much I want to do everyday nowadays. Other than reading and blogging, I’ve started to game with my friends as well which takes up a quite some time. Then of course there’s studying and getting caught up on shows and movies. Oof.

[5] You get to spend the day with the characters and movie adaptation actors from one fandom, what do you pick.

The Mortal Instruments, always. It would be SO MUCH FUN to hang out with the varied characters from the fandom. Also, who would turn down the chance to meet Magnus Bane?

I’m also partial to the movie adaptation actors for TMI. I’m not happy with the TV show actors. I mean, come one! Lily Collins. Jamie Bower! Speaking of, I was so sad when I heard that Godfrey Gao passed away last month. He was a really great Magnus Bane in the movies.

an open book with tabs

[6] What fictional animal would you like to replace Rudolph and be able to meet on your roof?

I’m a simple person. I want to meet Church, the cat from The Mortal Instruments. He seemingly has a long lifespan and is the smartest cat ever. I really want to hang out with that cat.

[7] You invite 10 fictional characters to your New Year’s Eve party, who do you pick?

I’ll limit myself to only 1 of The Mortal Instruments (and related books) from this list because they’ll take up all 10 spots (and more!) haha. And I should talk about other characters as well.

I pick..

  • Kenji from Shatter Me by Tahereh mafi. He’s awesome.
  • Brynn from Fumbled by Alexa Martin. She’s a hoot.
  • Kal from Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, because I just like him.
  • Magnus Bane from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare. Obviously!!!!
  • Alex and Henry from Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston.
  • Kell, Lila and Rhys from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.
  • Janie from Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid.

[8] What character would make a good Santa (doesn’t have to be appearance, personality counts too)?

I’m coming off as a total Magnus Bane fangirl but.. Magnus Bane. He is PERFECT to be Santa, though! He’ll give hilarous gifts, drown everything in glitter, and make sure you get what you want.

me standing with my kindle

And those were my answers!

If you’d like to do this tag, consider yourself tagged by me! Do link back so I can see your answers.


Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest


What books would you like to be gifted this Christmas? Tell me in the comments!

blogmas 2019 header image

Let's Chat // Spotify Wrapper, YouTube Rewind, New Music by Halsey, Taylor Swift

Y’all, it’s been an eventful week online.

I was wondering how to talk about everything, whether to make separate posts or include them in a life update. But then, I just figured I can make a chatty post about them all together.


SPOTIFY WRAPPED

First of all, twitter has been waiting for Spotify Wrapped for at least a week prior. I’ve seen so many memes about their Wrapped predictions, such as break-up albums and totally wack music tastes. Some tweets were quite funny and relatable. So, I started anticipating my Spotify Wrapped as well.

Since Spotify released only this year in India, there’s not much data for my account. Truthfully, I used Spotify a little bit using fake VPNs but it never lasted long. I was tired of the fake VPNs haha. It’s not much data, though.

I have to say, Spotify doesn’t have every song so during the last two months I’ve switched to using YouTube for music. Especially since I listen to a lot of songs from Kdrama OSTs, and Spanish TV shows, which aren’t available on Spotify.

Anyway!

Everyone got their Spotify Wrapped stories and playlists a few days back, and it’s HYPED. I see so many people sharing their stats online, and showing off their music tastes.

My Top Artist was BTS. With my favourite BTS song being Dionysus. Is there any surprise? I think not. Ever since I became an ARMY, I somehow always am listening to BTS songs. Be it old or new, there is always a BTS song to fit my current mood.

spotify wrapped 2019 top 5 artists

After BTS, my top artists were Taylor Swift, 5 Seconds of Summer, Diplo and Sia. I am surprised Diplo came into the list, though. I didn’t listen to much of his music this year.

music that defined my decade

Even though there isn’t much data on my account from 2017 and 2018, this is pretty accurate of my music tastes back then. 2017 was the year I discovered Oh Wonder, and I was OBSESSED with their music. In 2018, I was all into music from the Shadowhunters TV show, which led me to Fleurie‘s music. Until today, Hurricane is my favourite song by her.

There were some solid great songs that I listened to in 2019, and I’m sure I’ll love that they’re all in one playlist for me to listen again later.

I have to give props to Spotify. I loved the presentation. I saw my Wrapped on both the app and on the desktop website. I loved the web version even more. The presentation style, UI, music, and everything was put together in a really good sequence. The calls to action to tweet artists and share your stories was put in very appropriate places as well.


YouTube Rewind 2019

Yo.. YouTube didn’t even try this time.

We know that Rewind 2017 was bad. Rewind 2018 was cringey as heck, didn’t include people we actually liked, and was a mashup of weird and random things. It became the most disliked video on YouTube.

I don’t think I was alone when I forgot about YouTube Rewind completely. There was no one who actually looked forward to this year’s rewind. We didn’t care, and we didn’t have expectations. But, it is possible to be disappointed even when you didn’t expect anything.

This year’s rewind was basically statistics. It felt very impersonal, looked like it was made in a rush in the last 2 days, and as if the rewind team had no budget for production at all. I understand having no budget, because they sucked last year and YouTube probably doesn’t want to shell out cash for another failure. But. Some effort wouldn’t have killed them.

shaking head gif

The video mostly consisted of top 10s, which is stupid. We don’t watch Rewinds for that. That was never the purpose of it. Another stupid part was adding in random videos in increasing order of likes, which included what they thought were the “trends” of 2019. Highly inaccurate, if you ask me.

To try and “make the video better”, they added in some highly liked music as tracks. Newsflash: a video isn’t made great just by playing popular music in the background.

I was confused through it all. Okay, some videos were most liked, and I may not be very active in the trends, but there were random ass videos and people. They don’t define YouTube 2019, even if they got a ton of likes. It’s like YouTube has completely forgotten what Rewind was even for.*

can we ask why gif

This year’s Rewind screams lazy lazy LAZY. Even the intro and outro screams zero effort. I was so bored through it all, I kept skipping forward to see if anything was worth it. Spoiler: nope. I honestly won’t be surprised if YouTube Rewind gets cancelled next year. I’d prefer it. I’m sure many would forget about the existence of Rewind soon enough, including myself. The new decade could start by leaving YouTube Rewind behind.

*Or, my theory is that they fired all the good team members after and now Rewind has gone to shit. Or maybe those members quit YouTube one by one because they hate working there. And now the team left has no vision.

The very small pros of Rewind 2019, but only because I’m comparing it to the absolute disaster called Rewind 2018:

  • They acknowledged the disaster called Rewind 2018.
  • They mentioned that we know better (but also clearly did not care to TALK to some viewers and find out what to do)
  • They acknowledged PewDiePie’s existence. I mean, it’s stats of top 10s so it’s hard not to, but still.
  • They acknowledged BTS. Again, kinda hard since it’s stats. But since we know that they deleted tons of views from BTS’s music videos, ARMYs need much more than this to forgive YouTube.

Christmas Tree Farm by Taylor Swift

I pop in online after a long and great day with friends, to see that Taylor just dropped a new song? Halsey dropped two songs as well, but more on that later. What a day!

First of all, Taylor has been doing really well this year. Especially with everything thrown in her her. She’s coming out the winner and is an absolute queen. I used to only listen to some of her music, and wasn’t a huge fan. But this year has made me a Swiftie.

Christmas Tree Farm is such a nice song! I absolutely love the vibes. The video was really cool, there’s jingle bells and Christmas cheer in the background of her song. The song also doesn’t sound like her recent music, but I love it. It’s a happy song, and spreads happy vibes. It’s perfect for Christmas.


Halsey’s New Music

Halsey shared her next album’s tracklist on her Instagram recently, and it hyped us all up for it. All the ARMYs, including myself, became super excited to hear SUGA’s Interlude, which is a collab between Halsey and SUGA from BTS. SUGA does awesome collaborations, so I was looking forward to it.

And then, Halsey just dropped two songs yesterday! One was SUGA’s Interlude (heck yes!!!!) and another was Finally // beautiful stranger.

SUGA’s Interlude

The opening chords are signature SUGA. The sounds, the vibes, is totally SUGA’s style. We can hear it right from the beginning. I have to say, I don’t think Halsey’s voice is perfect for this song. I can imagine it better with a softer voice, because Halsey has a pretty strong voice.

Also, the song is really short. It’s over in no time. There aren’t much lyrics to it anyway. Halsey’s lines are just repeats. I liked the lyrics, though. The meaning is nice.

Overall, it’s okay. I really like the instrumentals, and will probably listen to the instrumental version a lot. But the song isn’t something that I would listen to on repeat. The tones are perfect for SUGA’s rap, but not Halsey’s voice.

Finally // beautiful stranger

I. LOVE. THIS.

The vibe is PERFECT for Halsey’s voice. I really like the sound of it. The tones, and the guitar is so good with her voice. Her singing style could not be better for it. I think she did wonderful with this song. I really like the lyrics as well.

I can totally see myself listening to this on repeat. The vibes are perfect for evening bus rides, chill blogging time when it’s raining outside, or just to listen to with a coffee while looking out the window.


Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest


LET’S CHAT!

That’s it for what I thought of all the updates this week. What about you? What are your thoughts on you Wrapped? And on Rewind 2019? Any new music which you love?

if we were having tea header image

if we were having tea… // 04-12-2019

It’s Blogmas day 4!

While I did plan out most of the days for blogmas, I left a few to spontaneous posts, and today is one of them. When I was blogging consistently and putting out three posts a week a long time back, the one thing I missed was spontaneous blog posts. I nailed down the planning and scheduling part, but it meant that every post of mine was written at least a week in advance, leaving me no room for current updates posts.

Lifestyle posts are some of my favourite. I really love just typing casually like I’m having a conversation with y’all. And if we were having tea is perfect because it’s what I would be telling you if we were having tea together in person. I suggest getting a hot tea while reading this, because I’m drinking tea while writing this and it’ll complete the whole vibe haha.

a steaming cup of tea gif

If we were having tea… you would see me bundled up in multiple layers and struggling to breathe because I’m sick. The last time I fell sick, I ended up in the ER because my throat infection triggered my swelling to grow in a very fast rate. Doctors specifically told me to NOT. FALL. SICK. until my surgery is done. But, my immunity system is horrible so I’m sick again.

I went to the doctor ASAP and got meds, and I’m being very careful about exposing myself to the cold now. It’s been about a week now, and while I’m better than before, my cold shows no sign of reducing. Sigh. The tea we’re having definitely helps. Hot drinks are saviours for my nose and throat.

Now, every time I go out, I wear a full sleeved thick top, a wool sweater above it, a wool scarf, and a beanie. All of it to keep myself very warm. But hey, I’m using this to constantly wear my Ravenclaw beanie haha.

If we were having tea… I’d complain about the weather being SO COLD. It’s freezing in the mornings! I live in Bangalore, and we’re known for having consistently gloomy weather and light showers throughout the year. But this year, the summer was actually hot and there was no rain. The trade off is that the winter is colder than ever, which is not good for all of us because we’re used to pleasantly cold winters. Not freezing cold winters.

To properly understand how our weather is throughout the year, you should notice our wardrobes. We have normal clothes, and a few jackets. Light ones for summer and spring, thicker ones for the winter. But our thick ones are nowhere near to the actual thick jackets people in other areas wear. We don’t have summer and winter clothes! It’s all the same! Which is why I’m struggling with this winter. I have a total of 1 woolen sweater, and its not even that thick.

"tis the season to be a walking marshmallow" gif

If we were having tea… I’d tell you that my final exams started. I finished one of my lab finals yesterday, and it was the hardest lab I’ve ever had. I’m so glad it’s done. I have the next one on 10th (yeah we have HUGE gaps, it’s kind of annoying because our exams go on for a month). After that, my theory finals start on the 16th. I haven’t started studying for my theory at ALL, and considering how many classes I missed this semester, I really should start studying.

If we were having tea… you would hear about my reading. I’ve been in a huge reading slump, and I read only 2 books last month. I was actually quite ahead on my Goodreads reading challenge, but I’m quite behind now. I have 11 books left to reach my goal, and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to complete the goal. With exams, and blogging every day for Blogmas, not much time is left to read 11 whole books. This might become the first time I don’t reach my reading goal.

But. I am attempting to get as close to my goal as possible. Last night, I started reading The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. For the last few month, the books I’ve been reading have been adult and mostly romance. I’ve lost touch with the YA world, especially YA fantasy which used to be my favourite genre. I really miss it so I’m trying to dive back into it now.

If we were having tea… I’d share a new lofi mix with you. I came across it on YouTube without even looking for lofi mixes, but it’s SO GOOD. I found it two days back, when I was studying for my exam, and it’s helped so much. The whole time I was studying and revising, this song was playing and helping with my concentration. Even the title is so nice! Also the artwork is pretty cool.

If I were to pick a time of the day/night to listen to this, I’d say very early morning. I woke up at 5:30am yesterday and was revising with this music. It was perfect. The comments section is also really nice.

If we were having tea… I’d say that I’m looking forward to 2020. While 2019 has been good for me in many ways, which does not include health, I’m more excited about what’s to come. 2020 is the year I’ll graduate from college, and start working. It’s the year when I’ll get some independence with respect to money, and be able to start taking care of my mum instead of the other way round. Right now, I feel like I’m in a limbo. We’re in a house we don’t like, and we want to move but we’re waiting for me to graduate. I’m in college but all I can think about is how my work life will be. Especially since I already have a job lined up, which also gives me a paid internship starting next month until I graduate, I’ve almost left college behind.

My friends have started being nostalgic, and while I can relate, my thoughts are towards the future. I’ve always been like that. I enjoy the present, think about the future, and only become nostalgic of a farther past. I started becoming nostalgic about high school only two years after I finished it. While I don’t know about college nostalgia, I do know that I’m not someone to be nostalgic in advance. Some of my friends miss the current day while we’re still having fun. They’re like I’m going to miss this so much, when we technically still have 6 months of college left!

All I can think about is the new decade, and all the changes and opportunities it’ll bring.


If we were having tea in person right now, what would you tell me?

blogmas 2019 header image

I’m doing Blogmas!

It’s officially December!

Can I please ask where the year went? It feels like yesterday when I was freaking out about 2019 because of the hectic college schedule. I was worried about studying for placements and interviews. February 2019 me was desperately hoping that she’ll be able to get a job and get through this year.

And then, we’re here today. Wow. I knew this would be a busy and fast year, but I wasn’t prepared for it to end so soon.

To end the year, and the decade, with something special I decided to do Blogmas!

What is Blogmas, you ask? The blogging community has 2 big things. One is Blogtober, where bloggers blog every single day of October. Another is Blogmas, where we blog every day leading up to and including Christmas Day. It’s basically a huge blogging party. We blog, visit other blogs and just do a whole lot of talking, and make friends etc. It consumes a lot of time, and involves quite a bit of work, but it’s super fun.

I did blogmas once back in 2016, which was my first year of blogging. There was SO MUCH talk about it, and tons of bloggers were planning on doing it, so I decided to do it as well. I had a lot of fun then. It fell right with my finals of first semester of college, but I managed and loved it.

This year, I actually wanted to do Blogtober. I’ve never done it before but October is always my busiest month in college. It falls right in the middle of the semester, and it’s the time when I’m falling behind on everything. Sadly, I couldn’t do it this time as well.

I didn’t initially plan on doing Blogmas but hearing Charley decide to do it despite her finals being at the same time, I threw caution out the window and jumped in. I have my finals this month as well, starting on 3rd. It’s my second to last semester of college! Wow, this blog has seen me grow through college.

gif of a man typing really fast.
Me typing posts blogmas posts because I need to study ASAP

This year’s blogmas has me quite pumped. I actually spent a whole evening making the blog post header you see on top. I tried out many pictures and layouts, asking my friends for their opinions. The header turned out really, so I’m happy about that. I will be using it for every post in Blogmas, to tie it all together.

Blogmas is all about Christmas and cheer, and most blogs post mostly Christmassy things. Since I don’t celebrate Christmas, I won’t be posting Christmas-related posts. Mine will be more general posts, quite like what I already blog about, but just every single day. I’ll try to make a couple Christmassy-posts but that’s hard for me since I have no clue about it lol.

That’s the one thing which separates my blog, and one I’m quite worried about, to be honest. I know that everyone wants to read Christmas-themed blog posts, and mine won’t fall into that bracket. I’m really hoping that it won’t be much a deterrent with my participation in the event, though.

In order to keep myself motivated to blog consistently through exams, I made a small blogger support group for blogmas on Twitter. All of us will basically motivate each other and talk about blogmas things. Fingers crossed they keep me accountable for this haha.

Make sure to follow them all because I’m sure they have some really nice content planned:

Anyway! Make sure to keep coming back here because I will be posting every single day until the 25th. I have a lot of nice blog posts planned, even though they’re not Christmas-themed. Stay tuned!

Talk to me

Will you be doing Blogmas this year? How are you feeling about 2019 ending soon? Tell me in the comments!

Behind The Blogger Tag

Hey everyone!

It’s been a while since I did a tag, and I’m just in the mood for it now. I saw this tag over at The Book Corps* and instantly wanted to do it. I wasn’t explicitly tagged for it but hey, when has that ever stopped me?

This tag is all about blogging, and my life behind and/or alongside it. It’s super fun, so let’s get to it!

*I absolutely love Laura’s blog, and she does really nice tags so I highly suggest going over there. There’s a lot of great content to be seen.


The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about to do this tag

girl working on a laptop
Photo by Mikayla Mallek on Unsplash

1. WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING AND WHY HAVE YOU KEPT BLOGGING?

I started blogging out of curiosity. I saw that there’s this thing called “share on your blog” on Goodreads (when I reviewed a book there) and was so intrigued. A google search on “what is a blog” lead me to WordPress, where I just made a blog without really thinking about it. In fact, I came up with my old blog name “light up the shining night stars” in a few seconds and just set up my blog.

As I spent more time figuring out about my blog, and finding others, I slowly learnt what blogging is. And that definition constantly expanded to include more content and niches.

I continue to blog because I’ve grown to love this hobby, and this community. Blogging is cathartic to me. Whenever I want to talk about something, no matter what about, I can blog about it without second-guessing because this is my space. It’s been almost 4 years since I started blogging, and I don’t see any sign of me wanting to quit. Sure, I took breaks, but I always come back.


2. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF BLOG POST TO WRITE?

Listables! I absolutely love writing posts like “10 things..”/”7 reasons…”/”10 books I love”. They’re super fun, especially because

  1. I love lists.
  2. It’s a great way to format a post.
  3. You get talk about your favourites in one post!
  4. And they always work out well.

They’re also fun! Whenever I write discussion posts or tips/advice, I try to make them into a list. Fun fact: listables capture attention better because you’re letting people know what exactly they can find in the blog post. It’s not vague. Points also help summarize content well, which works better for readers of the post.


3. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE FAVOURITE BLOG POSTS?

Top three in what way? Views? Likes? Comments? My favourites? What. How am I supposed to choose randomly? This is hard.

Top three blog posts in terms of views:

Haha I see a pattern.

Top three blog posts that I love:

Mug with Hustle written on it.
Photo by Garrhet Sampson on Unsplash

4. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO TO RELAX?

Honestly, I don’t have many things. Being productive gives me a lot of satisfaction, and I’m also a procrastinator. This means that I technically don’t look to “relax” much.

The few things I do to relax are:

  • Read. This is kinda obvious though. But I like reading romance books or YA contemporary, specifically. They always make me relax and feel good.
  • Listen to music and journal. I really like bullet journalling, and I sometimes journal in my notebook as well. Listening to chill music and doing it calms me.
  • Blog life updates. This is another thing that relaxes me. It’s fun to just keep typing as my thoughts flow. Sometimes the blog posts turn out good, sometimes they don’t. But the process is nice.

5. WHAT ARE THREE OF YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS?

  • Books! Obviously haha.
  • Cute socks. I just love them, and I love wearing them.
  • Winter wear. Jackets/Sweatshirts/Hoodies/Shrugs. I love wearing layers, and I wear one of these whenever it’s cold enough to.

6. WHAT ARE YOUR PROUDEST BLOGGING MOMENTS?

Coming up as the first link when Kdrama reviews are searched. This is why my Kdrama reviews are the most viewed—because a lot of views comes from search engines. If you search “doctor stranger review” or “w two world review”, my link comes first in the results! This what I’m most proud of. Even with business blogs and websites about Kdramas, my blog managed to show up first.

I hit 50,000 views! I’m at 52k right now. I’m so proud that my curiosity-filled random start grew into a proper blog which people want to visit.

I’m also proud of myself for maintaining a blog without succumbing to the “follow a niche” advice. Blogs receive more views and are more successful by sticking to a specific niche. But I’m not ready to stick to one. I want this space to show all of me, and I’m glad that I still keep it that way.

Work aesthetic
Image from Unsplash.

7. WHAT ARE YOUR HOBBIES OUTSIDE OF BLOGGING?

Read! It lead me to blogging haha. Reading is, and will always be, my #1 hobby.

Bullet Journalling. I’m a huge planner. Making to-do lists every day, or for every thing, and checking things off gives me a lot of satisfaction. It allows me to clearly see how productive I’ve been, which I like. Bullet journalling takes it to the next level with trackers, so many different spreads, and the flexibility to record everything in one place. I love it.

Bookstagram! While my bookstagram account isn’t big or super aesthetic, I really do like it. It’s fun to try out new ways of taking photos of books, try out themes, and make a feed. Interacting with other bookstagrammers is nice too. I love that we all love books so much.

Speaking of, y’all should really follow me on Instagram.* I don’t post very often, but I do have some good photos and thoughts on books.

*shameless self-plug lol.


9. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE PET PEEVES?

Ohhh I have quite a few. Top three? Um.

  • People chewing without keeping their mouths closed. I HATE this. I even tell my mum to chew with her mouth closed. I do not want to see food being chewed, or hear the sounds. Besides, it’s actually not good to do it. More often than not, food will end up coming out by mistake. Especially if the person is also talking while chewing. That annoys me so much.
  • Spelling mistakes/typos/misplaced commas/extra spaces/etc. Everything to do with grammar and typing. For example, my friend and I were working on a report a few days back. He was typing and I was narrating most of the content. Every time there was an extra space, or a typo, I’d make him correct it first before continuing typing. I cannot concentrate if they’re there.
  • People not taking care of things they borrowed from me. No, I don’t care if it’s just a pen. You should take care of it. Not leave it on some random desk, or lose the pen cap. I want my things taken care of. I’m a little extra with my stationary items and books, more than other things.

10. WHAT’S SOMETHING YOUR FOLLOWERS DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I don’t think I’ve mentioned that I know some carnatic* music? I even went for carnatic singing classes, and quite a few of the songs are still in my head. Sometimes, I find myself humming them too. I actually don’t like carnatic music simply because my mum pushed me towards it so much. It’s nice, but if I was not forced towards it I might have liked/enjoyed it more. I stay away from it now though.

My voice isn’t too bad as well! I sound very bad when singing modern music but I’m not too bad at carnatic music. I come from a line of really good singers. My mum’s voice is beautiful, and my maternal granddad sang really well until right before he passed away at 97 years old. People used to come to visit him specifically to hear him sing, and he even taught free classes when I was a kid.

*copying the definition from the Internet, in case you don’t know what it is. Carnatic music or Karnāṭak music or Karnāṭaka Saṃgīta is a system of music commonly associated with the southern part of the Indian subcontinent, with its area roughly confined to five modern states of India: Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh,[w: Kerala|Kerala]], Telangana and Tamil Nadu.

Me! In a Brooklyn Nine Nine shirt and Ravenclaw beanie.
And there’s me! Helloo!

I TAG…

Fanna @ Fannatality, Charley @ The Miss Charley, Anukriti @ Kaleidoscopic Nerd, Rilu @ Chapter92, KayCee @ Wonderstruck, Kelly @ Dream in Lace, Rebecca @ Bookishly Rebecca, Leelyn @ Sometimes Leelyn Reads.

And of course, YOU if you’d like to do it! Do pingback to me so I can see your answers!


Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest


Tell me your blogging story! How did you start? What makes you keep going?