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The Sunday Post // short updates

Hey y’all!

We’re onto the last week of the month of February already! How’s everyone holding up? I’m quite tired, to be honest. Mostly mentally and emotionally. One of my main problems is not getting in enough alone time every week to recharge.

All I want is some time to myself haha. But, as this post gets published I’m out with my book club and not alone so.. lol. Maybe next week. Hopefully.

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

Reading Update

I was even more garbage at reading this week than last week. I’m going to reduce my Goodreads challenge for sure at the end of this month.

I read two romance books to pass time, and I’m listening to another one on audiobook right now. It’s mindless reading.

The Thing Around Your Neck is still going on as well, as I’m slowly reading it with a group of people on Instagram.

Another book I’m currently reading as an ebook is an ARC who’s review I have to post later this week. It’s quite good so keep an eye out for that review!

What did I watch last week?

I’m just bingeing episodes of Shark Tank on Netflix lol. I’ve seen the first 6 seasons and few of episodes of season 7, so I’m not missing anything as Netflix only has seasons 7, 8 and 9.

It’s so nice to watch it again. I used to love watching the show and it’s keeping me gripped. The show is actually really nice to watch and I learn a lot of things from it. It’s quite informative in the business point-of-view.

Updates on life!

I paid a visit to the doctor yesterday and I’ve been cleared for surgery. In case you’re a new reader or follower here, I have a neck swelling which is a bronchial cyst. I’ve had it for about a year. A few months back, I ended up in the ER ward due to a common cold which infected the cyst as well. The swelling kept increasing and became painful.

That was when we realized that I HAVE to get a surgery to remove the cyst. But my thyroid levels were too low to go for it.

Now my thyroid levels have increased a bit using meds. Not enough to be in normal range, but it should be okay for general anesthesia. My swelling is staying constant in size now, but it might increase again if I fall sick. And I fall sick very easily.

So we need to do the surgery ASAP. I have to figure out dates with my internship and when I can take off for the surgery. Probably won’t be very soon but sometime in the next few months!

Instagram?

I’ve been BARELY active on Instagram recently, and it’s because I just am not in the mood for using the app. I barely even open the app right now. My motivation for Instagram is coming in waves and… I may stop using it soon? Who knows.

But yeah I haven’t posted on my feed for two weeks and Instagram barely crosses my mind. I don’t open it to engage with others as well.


And that’s it for this week! I know this is way shorter than my usual updates but I don’t have much to say. This past week has been pretty uneventful.

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How was your week? Was it more eventful than mine?

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The Sunday Post // 21st birthday, gifts & meetups

It’s the first Sunday of 2020! How are y’all doing?

I’m having the time of my life, just chilling and doing my own things. This past week has been quite eventful and I have much to tell y’all. Let’s get to it!

I turned 21!

My birthday was on 30th December, and it was quite uneventful since we were having exams. I spent most of the day studying. My college friends sent me tiny red velvet cupcakes and coffee through delivery service though, and that made my day!

FINALS ENDED

Our last exam was on 1st of January, and I am so glad it’s finally done. We all felt relieved as heck to be done after so long. Overall, the exams were quite okay. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t really good either. I’m just glad to be done with them.

BIRTHDAY GIFTS

circe by madeline miller

The first birthday gift I received was a paperback copy of Circe. My bookstagram group has a thing where we buy a book from the person’s wishlist and send it to them for their birthday. Due to good Amazon service, I received this one three days in advance, and was super happy.

As we only met on the exam day, my college friends gave me my gifts after the exam. And.. I was blown, y’all.

The first gift they got me was a TOMBOW DUAL BRUSH PEN SET in pastel colours. I had casually mentioned to a friend that this is so expensive and I wish I could get it. A lot of bullet journallers on Instagram and YouTube swear by it, and I wanted to try.

And these amazing friends got it for me!

six of crows collector's edition

One of my friends found my wishlist on this blog and suggested that they get me the Six of Crows collector’s edition! That book is an ABSOLUTE BEAUTY. When they handed it to me, I had 0 thoughts. I was just looking at the book, not believing that they got it for me.

It’s so pretty, I could cry.

1st Jan was a VERY GOOD START to the year because of these gift bombs from my friends. Also 17 of my friends contributed for this and… I feel popular??? Omg?

Secret Santa gifts

I participated in two Secret Santa pools in 2019. Technically, I received half of these gifts a couple weeks back but I’m going to just talk about everything here.

The first Secret Santa pool was with my Bangalore bookstagram club. I gifted my Secret Child/Angel/whatever-you-call-it a paperback copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It’s one of the best books I read last year and I really wanted her to have it.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

I received Frankly in Love by David Yoon as my gift! Honestly, if I had to buy a book, I probably wouldn’t have gotten this one myself. I’m very frugal in buying paperback/hardback books and only buy books that I’m sure I would love. Hence, this was on my wishlist as a “maybe” buy, and I’m so happy my Santa gifted me this one.

The other Secret Santa pool was with my college friends. We’re a huge group but only 9 of us participated since everyone else was too broke for it. I gifted my Secret Child a scrapbook with 2019 memories. It was basically all the highlights of 2019 in polaroids and comments written next to them. I’m quite proud of it and he really liked it, so that was win!

Coincidentally, my Secret Child was my Secret Santa as well. We basically gifted each other lol. He got me a pop socket for my phone, which I’ve been wanting FOREVER, but never found a good inexpensive one. The pop socket says “OK, BUT FIRST COFFEE” and that’s perfect for me. The other core gift was a BTS bag-tag. Jin is my bias from BTS, and my Santa got a bag-tag of Jin’s BT21 character RJ. It’s so cute and it went on my bag immediately.

the BTS bag-tag and phone pop socket.

Other than these two, I also got a personalized poster with all the things that make up my life—like BTS, Netflix, blog, my best friends etc. My Santa also gave me small snack items like coffee powder and biscuits.

Overall, I got a lot haha.

Hangouts with friends

Right as exams finished, I made plans with friends to go out and chill. Our exams finished on Wednesday, and I went out to a cafe on Thursday with friends. On Friday, I went to one of my best friends’ place and chilled with her there. We spoke about random things and I blogged a little. In fact, I handed her the reins to make the blog post header image for my 2019 lookback post.

There were two plans made for Saturday. My college friends had a wonderful day out planned, and my best friends wanted to have a day out as well. Since I can’t meet one of my best friends for a while as she’s going on vacation, I chose to hang out with them. We had a really good day. I wore a new outfit and felt good in it.

And that’s it for the week! I’m taking today off to blog and chill at home. Tomorrow I have plans again, and tentative plans for Tuesday are on. I’m basically filling up my days with everything I want to do before 16th because that’s when my internship starts.

Make sure to follow my Instagram and Twitter for more updates, since only a few of them make it onto the blog.

Linking this to The Sunday Post and The Sunday Salon.


How was your week? Leave links to your Sunday Post below, if you’ve posted one!

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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?

2020 Bullet Journal Setup

Hey everyone!

We’re just days away from the next year and it’s time to get all our plans and planners set up for it. Since my next (and last) final is four days away, I got some time to set up a new notebook as my bullet journal for next year.

My entire 2019 is in ONE notebook/bullet journal and that honestly makes me really happy. December is ending with about 3 pages left in that notebook. I might use the last 3 pages to do a homage for 2019, by adding in polaroids and writing about memories, but that’ll be after my holidays begin.

Now, onto the 2020 setup! I have to say, saying and writing 2020 is SO satisfying. It’s symmetrical and I’ll probably play with many styles this year. We’ll see.

index page

I started the new notebook with an index. Indexes are not very used by me but I do use them sometimes to flip to some important information or notes that are in the book. Its a very simple index, didn’t decorate it at all.

2020 cover page

For this spread, I was inspired by My Life In A Bullet. Her 2020 setup looked so good and I took this decorative idea from her. I actually quite like that my 2020 is not centered and that it has a small doodle on the inside.

Next is my year calendar. Yes, I did write it all by hand and it didn’t take that long so it was fine. I carried over the leaves from the last page here. I only made it a calendar and not a future log because I usually don’t use a future log, but I do flip back to see dates of the year. My week always goes Sunday to Saturday so I didn’t bother writing the days for every month.

goals, challenges spread

This is my favourite spread from this setup. Sometime in the last year I fell in love with the colour yellow in my bullet journal, and I went all yellow here. I’m not a huge resolutions person so this spread just contains what I’d like to do in things that are in my control.

I wrote down the reading challenges I’m doing so that I won’t forget what I’m exactly doing throughout the year. The blogging goals are what I’d love to do this year. I have huge plans for this blog y’all. On the right, I’ve written some personal things that I’d like to improve on in 2020. The lettered quote “grab opportunities ASAP” is my sentence for the year since I’m a hesitant person on taking opportunities and trying new things.

period tracker and birthday list

Next, I’ve done a period tracker. I have irregular periods and it’s necessary to track them, and I don’t like doing it on an app. Until now I marked down the dates on my monthly spreads but it’s hard to see all the dates in one place that way. By doing a year-long tracker, it will be easier to notice patterns and irregularities.

On the right, I just wrote down birthdays I want to remember. Whenever I set up my monthly spreads, I need to see what birthdays are in that month online or ask a friend, so this will be helpful for the next year.

And that’s it for my 2020 setup! All these spreads are what I’ll be referring and using for the entire year. It’s always a good idea to set up yearly spreads in the beginning of a new notebook or a new year.

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Are you excited for 2020? How was 2019 for you?

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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!

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

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A-Z Reading Challenge 2019

It’s the end of the year! Which means that it’s time to look back on all the challenges and see how we’ve done.

I didn’t join in on any challenges this year since I knew that I won’t be able to keep up with them all. College has been HECTIC, and I was expecting it. But there are two challenges that I always participate in passively. It’s the Goodreads reading challenge, where I set my goal to 150 books this year. Another is the A-Z Reading Challenge.

How this challenge works is that we have to read books for every alphabet. For A, we should read a book whose name starts with A. The one rule is that “The”, “A” and “An” doesn’t count. For Q, X and Z, the letters can be anywhere in the title.

P.S. This is part of my blogmas! Follow my blog to not miss any of my posts since I’ll be posting everyday leading up to Christmas. You can also check out all the posts I’ve published so far.

Here’s what my list looks like!

A – Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

B – Butterface by Avery Flynn

C – City of Ghosts by V.E. Schwab

D – Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi

E – Educated by Tara Westover

F – The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

G – Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

H – Heartache and Hope by Jay McLean

I – Intercepted by Alexa Martin

J – Justice by K.C. Lynn

K – Knots by Deblina Bhattacharya

L – The Lie by C.L. Taylor

M – Muffin Top by Avery Flynn

me standing next to a stack of books of my height

N – Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

O – On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

P – Punk 57

Q – Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

R – Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

S – The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

T – That Girl From Nowhere by Dorothy Koomson

U – The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

V – A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

W – The Wicked King by Holly Black

X – The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Y – The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Z – The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez


I completed it! When I was planning this post and noted down the books for every letter, I was still missing Q and Y. It was only last week that I managed to complete those haha. And that’s by cleverly choosing a small book for Y. But I’m glad I did 24 letters without consciously trying!

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Are you doing the A to Z Reading Challenge as well? Or are you doing any other challenge? Tell me in the comments!

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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?

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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!

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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.


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

December ’19 Bullet Journal Setup

It’s the last month of the year… and the decade. It’s also a super busy month for me.

My bullet journalling in November started after half the month passed because of my medical emergency, but I haven’t been totally back to bullet journalling since then. Now that I’ve setup my December bullet journal, I expect to be back to full planning swing!

I have my finals this month, and I’m also doing Blogmas* so I needed my bullet journal to be easy and efficient. I decided to not be elaborate and stick to what has been working for me, and made sure that my monthly spreads are low maintenance.

*A blogging event where we blog every single day from 1st to 25th of December. So make sure to follow me in order to not miss any posts!

The first thing I decided was to go back to a yellow theme. I did a yellow theme a few months back, and the spreads looked bright and fun. I loved opening up my bullet journal. It made me happy, and I really need some of that positivity this month. Hence, yellow is back!

monthly cover page and

I kept to a VERY BASIC first spread. What I love about this spread is that it allows enough space for decoration, in case I feel like it later. I also get to see the monthly calendar view, Sundays to Saturdays, which I always refer. The right side gives ample space for writing down multiple events. Here I’ve done it so that my finals and academic dates go on the left and everything else goes on the right.

I meant to stick a washi tape or doodle on the empty space on the right side, but I left it for another day. Didn’t have time to do much when setting this up.

habit tracker and blog schedule

This habit tracker, while a little unconventional since it runs vertically and looks a weird due to the labelling, actually looks pretty good when it’s all finished up. Plus, it’s super easy maintenance. What I mean by that is, I don’t have to put too much effort in making the spread look nice. I just mark every day and by the end, it looks good on its own.

On the right, I have a much needed blog schedule page. It’s just the dates and days running down, with area to write down blog posts against the dates. I’m using pencil to write everything in case I want to switch up things. I considered making a ideas spread as well, but I already did an impromptu one when considering doing Blogmas, so I left that out.

I really like the way it turned out with the “perfectly authentic” sticker and “blog” letters over it.

Oh and I cranked up the brightness to mostly hide my schedule for the month haha. Keep an eye out on this blog because I’ve planned for some really good content!

expenses page

And as always, I have an expense tracker. I’m super happy with the way the lettering turned out here. It’s a style I should do more often.

And that’s it! I find that I’m so much happier with simple and fewer spreads to manage. This is why I’ve started to only keep the spreads that I really will use or look back at. Gone are the days when I tried elaborate spreads after copying what I see on Instagram or Pinterest. Efficiency is key now.

How is your December going to be? Busy? Full of celebration and fun? Tell me in the comments!

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!


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

Songs on repeat header

Songs On Repeat // November ’19

Hey y’all!

I know it’s kinda early for this blog post but I didn’t feel like making any other post, and I’m pretty excited to share some songs with you so I just decided to post it now.


GIANTS by True Damage (ft. Becky G, Keke Palmer, SOYEON, DUCKWRTH, Thutmose)

I absolutely love the songs that League of Legends brings out. It started a couple months back, and it’s still going on. I actually didn’t like this song when I first heard it, but it grew on me. I still don’t like the second rap part (and always skip those 20 seconds) but I absolutely love the rest of it. Especially the chorus by Becky G and Keke Palmer. Best.


Phoenix by Cailin Russo, Chrissy Constanza

Another BRILLIANT song by League of Legends. I absolutely love all of this song. It’s way too good. This was on repeat for about a whole week before I even considered another song.


Malibu Nights by LANY

YouTube put this in My Mix, and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since. I haven’t looked back from LANY. How have I never heard to this artist before?? Such great music, wow.


Lover Remix by Taylor Swift, Shawn Mendes

I loved the original Lover, so it’s not a surprise that I love this as well. The chorus is especially nice, when both of them sing. Their voices really went together for this song.


Everything I Wanted by Billie Eilish

I actually haven’t been liking Billie Eilish’s recent songs. After bad guy, which took time to grow on me, I liked nothing. This song came up on my recommendations and I just gave it a try. It’s actually pretty good. The vibe and the melody is really nice, and her voice goes well with it. I took a couple listens to start liking it, but I do quite like it now.


Strawberries and Cigarettes by Troye Sivan

I did like this song when I first heard it on Love, Simon but it was never on repeat for me. But my friends discovered it recently, and since we listen to music together on Discord quite often, they played it multiple times and hence I started really loving it as well. It’s really nice.


Mean It by Lauv and LANY

Okay first of all. What a GENIUS IDEA for these two to collab. I absolutely love both these artists, and this song turned out SO GOOD. I can’t get over it. It’s tooooo good. I clicked on the YT video instantly when I saw Lauv and LANY together. And it was totally worth it. If you haven’t heard to this yet, I highly recommend it.

It’s kinda funny that their voices sound so similar, though. It feels like only one person sang it all. I would have loved to hear at least one part where they’re both singing, but I’ll take what I get.


Jesse and Joy on Go!

Okay first of all, this isn’t an actual song. I don’t even know it’s name. I searched everywhere and couldn’t find the whole song by the artists, so I’m assuming it’s not a real one. The artists sang it while guest appearing on a show on Netflix. I don’t know, I just reaaaally liked the singer’s voice.

Edit: I found the original song! I was listening to all the songs by Jesse and Joy, and found it. Lol. This is the original one.


And that’s it for this month!

What songs have you been listening to on repeat? Do we share any? Tell me in the comments!

top ten tuesday header image

10 Changes In My Reading Life

My reading habits have changed a lot in the last few years.

I started really reading back in 6th grade, when a private library opened up nearby and my mum immediately got me registered for it. She used to be a HUGE reader when she was young, and has fond memories of reading books with her sister. Mum wanted me to have something for myself since I’m an only child and wasn’t very social. And I haven’t looked back since.

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is “changes in my reading life” and I can’t wait to share my list with y’all. So let’s get to it!


I stopped going to the library

In all honesty, the library near me shut down. I started going to another one, and quickly made my way through the small selection they had at that branch. Currently, another private library exists about 3 kilometers from me, but I simply don’t have the time to make the trip back and forth. I used to frequent there for about a year before stopping because college left me with no time to visit.

Plus, being in India, I don’t find a lot of YA books in libraries. We have all the veteran authors but new books and YA is not as common. Which means that I’ll have to read as e-books anyway. It just seemed better for me to stop going to the library.

Now, I frequent a second hand bookstore where new books are immediately available, and where I can sell back books. It’s like a library, but without a time limit on the books, and has a much wider selection. Old books are discounted as well.

bookworm tangled gif

I’m way more picky

In the good ol’ days when I started reading, when I was going to the library, I would to go to a random section and pick out a book which “called to me”. I never saw the genre or the author. I would read the summary, but I often used to just go with my pick and try it out. This meant that I exposed myself to all genres and all kinds of books. Young Sumedha wasn’t picky and moody about her reads.

But now? I’ve become super picky. It’s, in part, because of the online book community. I’ve been exposed to things like “problematic”, “relevant issues”, “diversity” and other buzzwords. It’s not a bad influence—I’m glad to have learnt so much and to be more aware of what I read—but it also means that I’ve become so much more judgemental. Some books just seem too cliche, or not special enough, to read. And that’s so sad because every book deserves a chance.


I’m now a mood reader

Even before looking for new books to read, or looking at my TBR, I have a genre in mind. If I’m in the mood for romance, I just can NOT pick up anything else. Even a great fantasy book will not change my mind. I’ll see a great book, and add it to my ever-growing TBR for later because my current mood isn’t good for it. No matter the hype, the reviews, or recs from friends. I just can’t override my mood.

It’s honestly kind of annoying haha.


My favourite genre has changed

For the longest time, my favourite genre was fantasy. Right from 7th grade when I found vampires and books with non-humans and magic, up to my 2nd year of college when I loved A Court of Mist and Fury. Fantasy was my go-to. I’d be so on top of the fantasy books, even with new releases! I knew every fantasy book, and had read most of them.

But, over the last couple years, it has slowly changed. It happened in phases. I had a couple phases where I just wanted to read stand-alone romance books, and they lasted a few months each. By mid 2018, I was all-in on romance. Honestly, I didn’t want to admit that my favourite genre changed because fantasy will always be a soft spot for me. But, I finally admitted it to myself late last year.

My favourite genre is currently romance, and I’m thoroughly enjoying it.


My picks are easily influenced by the internet

The hype causes me to pick up books, and also make sure I never pick up some books. The online book community is filled with people who read and have their own opinions. I have come to read a lot of reviews, and look for multiple views when I come across a book.

I can’t pick up a book just by the name or summary anymore, unless it’s romance. Romance books don’t get a lot of hype anyway, and every romance book could be a gem.* But for any other genre? Especially any series? The hype influences my reading a lot.

As with anything else, this point has pros and cons. I’ve picked up some great books, and I’ve sadly neglected other books in favour of popular ones.

*I’ve found SO MANY GREAT ROMANCE BOOKS through Goodreads lists and random searches. The romance genre has the most underrated books.

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I have a TBR

Until 2016, when I started blogging and following the online book community, I didn’t have a TBR. If, by chance, I find a really good book which I’d like to save for later, I would screenshot it’s cover or name. In fact, I had an album for those screenshots. But that album was always small. I never truly had a TBR list.

But now? I have a legit TBR list on Goodreads which has hundreds of books in it. I have several saved posts on Instagram, with books that I’d like to read. And I’ll be honest, I’m never good at following my TBR. I rarely open it. Being a mood reader, my picks are very random and usually don’t follow TBRs.


I always read reviews before picking up a book

Earlier, when I found books either in the library or on the internet, I’d pick it up based on what I was seeing right then. If it was a review, I’d make my choice on the book based on that review alone. If I saw the book in the bookstore, and I had a good feeling, I’d simply buy it.

My process is very different now. No matter how I’m introduced to a book, I always look for a few reviews before picking it up. For this, I go on Goodreads. And I make sure to read at least one negative review. I don’t like going in with very high expectations, and it’s always good to make sure that the book doesn’t have concepts that I hate. For example, I hate boss-employee romances and love triangles. In fact, negative reviews are my go-to before I pick up hyped books. It’s just like that.

picture with a lot of books surrounding my feet

I’m way more critical

Before I completed a year of blogging, and became fully immersed in the book community, my reading very different. I’d read to escape my world, to find something new, and to live a different life. I’d read for an adventure or a happy ending. And I would simply enjoy a book or not enjoy it. I was critical, but it was based on my values and completely my own opinions.

Now, my critique has changed with influences from other readers. I think about whether a book has diverse characters, whether there are problematic elements, and whether there’s appropriate representation. I’ve started considering at things that other reviewers consider.

I literally dissect books now. Character development, pacing, dialogue, and even inclusion of certain themes. I never thought of them particularly before, but now I do.

Being completely honest, I HATE it. I can’t make myself stop. A lot of my favourites from before are not good enough anymore, because of these new criticisms. It’s ruined those books for me, which I was so fond of for various reasons.


I sometimes feel ashamed of my reads

I try to make myself stop, but I just can’t. There are tons of strong opinions in this community, and we’re using the internet. It’s easy for people to point fingers and give their opinions against you/yours here. I’ve seen such strong opinions against my favourite authors/books. While I don’t care about what books other people like, I am afraid of being called out for what I like.

For example, Sarah J Maas. She was to be my favourite author for a while. I LOVED Throne of Glass and A Court of Mist and Fury*. I mentioned her and her books everywhere. I wasn’t shy with my love for her books.

But, there was just so much talk against SJ Maas and her books. It got me discouraged. I was challenged multiple times. Readers and reviewers pointed out why her books were “the worst” and why no one should like them. It didn’t matter that I liked the book just because I liked the world or the plot. It was clear that me saying I liked her books, without making sure that the person I’m talking to likes them as well, would put me in a bad spot.

SJ Maas stopped being my favourite author eventually because I didn’t like her latest books, but the effect stayed.

Now, it’s the same with romance books which have “problematic elements”. I recognize them, and I don’t condone them. But I liked the book! It made me feel nice! It’s happy ending left me happy! I JUST WANT TO PRAISE IT. Without worrying about people saying I liked or ignored the problematic issues.

*I didn’t like A Court of Thorns and Roses.


I’m always thinking about reviewing

Until a couple years back, I’d simply read a book. There was no annotating involved, or a pause in reading to contemplate something. I would simply read a book, and decide whether I want to review it after I finishing it. Because of this, I wouldn’t have lines to quote in reviews, or specific points to talk about, but it was okay! I was cool with it.

Now, after seeing how others review and the different kinds of reviews, my own style has adapted. I now annotate books freely. Many of my books have tabs and comments written next to paragraphs. And when I’m reading, I think about how I’m going to mention things in my review. For example, let’s say that a book becomes slow at around 50%. I make a note of it so I can mention it in my review. Sometimes, I even write sentences for my review in a notes app or as annotation right then.

I don’t just read anymore. My reading involves reviewing as I go.


And those were my 10 changes! When I started this post, I was unsure of whether there would be 10 points for me to write. Surprisingly, points just kept coming to me as I wrote. There were a lot of changes haha.

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TALK TO ME

Has your reading changed since you began? Have you been heavily influenced by the online book community as well?

the sunday post header

I’m back from my hiatus!

At least, I hope I am. I can’t tell for sure yet.

It’s been exactly two weeks since my last blog post, and I had promised to blog more in that post. Ha. What a joke.

So, what’s been happening? Why am I just disappearing into the void without a peep on Instagram or Twitter as well? It’s because of my health. Two days after my last post, on 29th October, I was rushed to the emergency ward for breathlessness. I couldn’t breathe unless I was lying on my back. Even if I managed the breathlessness for a while, my head started hurting BAD every time I lifted it.

My swelling had increased in the night to the point that it was pushing on my throat, causing the breathing problems. It was also so heavy that it was pulling at my head when I sit up, causing headaches.

We rushed to the hospital where we consulted the ENT doctor before, but after reaching there we found that ALL DOCTORS WERE OFF. What hospital gives a public holiday???? I had to be admitted due to my breathing, and once I was started on antibiotics I couldn’t keep ANY food in me. That sucked too. I was puking everything up within an hour.

I have so much more to say about that 3 day hospital stay, but I’ve complained about it to my friends enough and I’ll spare y’all the details. It was a BAD experience, though.

Fast forward two weeks to today. I’ve been to two other hospitals, and consulted a few other speacialist doctors. We decided that I need to get a surgery ASAP, and it will be under general anesthesia. But for that, my thyroid levels need to be in range. Now, that’s a problem again. Although I don’t have hyperthyroid anymore (new discovery!! my T4 level is back to normal!!), my thyroid stimulating hormone level is still VERY LOW. No doctor is able to figure out why, and I’ve just been taking tests and more tests for it. I just want to get the surgery done at this point. Sigh.

I also have a lot of work to do for college, barring studying. I haven’t attended classes in two weeks, haven’t done any assignments and haven’t worked on my projects. I’m so behind on everything, and I need to get a LOT of work done before I go in for my surgery (which will probably be in a week?).

To be honest, I could have at least done assignments, but one thing was stopping me. When I was in the hospital, they gave me antibiotics through an IV line at my right hand. The large number of injections and the continuous drips caused the back of my right hand to swell up badly. We changed the IV canula to my left hand, but it was pretty late. I couldn’t bend my fingers or grip anything. It took until YESTERDAY for me to make a loose fist. I tried writing yesterday and I barely got through 200 words before my hand was strained. I couldn’t grip the pen properly. And we do all our assignments by hand (yes, I know, what a stupid rule).

I will attempt to write again today. I also have to work on my projects because deadlines are approaching fast, and I have nothing done. And neither have my teammates done anything, don’t ask me why though. I was under the impression that they would do something but apparently not. This is why I hate working in teams 🙂 And this is the one semester I need my teams in place.

So. That was the update on the physical health front. What about my mental health? Well, I’m hanging in there. Barely, but I’m surviving. I’ve been spending all my free time either watching something. I don’t know why, but I haven’t been able to read much. I haven’t felt like reading either. I’m in a huge reading slump, and I don’t know if I’m even close to getting out of it.

The one thing I’m really unable to do right now, is recharge mentally. I grew up with a lot of time to myself, and an abundance of “space”. Both my parents worked and I would be alone at home for long periods of time. As I grew up, I got used to and I started relying on that alone time. I need time to myself to recharge, without anyone around me to comment or make conversation with. I need time where I don’t have to keep up a positive pretense. And mostly, I require the time to cry if needed. A good cry helps a lot.

But lately, I’ve not had one second to myself. My mum has retired from her job, which means she’s home all the time. She’s even let go of her social activities to take care of me. And while I really appreciate it, the lack of space is getting to me. My mum’s overprotective of me. Even if I itch my leg in front of her, she asks me what happened, what’s wrong. And I also don’t want to burden her with my sadness through all this, because she worries enough herself. I can’t get her more down, so I’ve been the more positive person. And it’s taxing me. I’m at the last straw and I just… want some time alone so I can properly cry or read a book or ANYTHING. But alone.

I doubt it’ll happen, though. Mum’s not leaving me alone unless she has to, and since we’re back to living with my dad, he’s at home a majority of the time as well. He’s of no help to me or has no concern of me, but he’s home which means I still can’t do whatever I want. I usually have to retreat to the bedroom when he’s home, so that makes me feel even more trapped.

Fun times, eh?

Through the last few harrowing weeks, the one thing I’ve been able to count on is support from my friends. Y’all. I cannot even elaborate on HOW HELPFUL my amazing friends have been. They’re always there with emotional and physical support, always ready to help when I ask, and they’re keeping up to date with my tests and everything. I’ve called upon them several times now, because it’s hard to manage running around in hospitals with just my mum. I was no use physically and mentally, and my mum couldn’t do everything alone. My friends stepped in to help and that made so much difference.

Anyway! On to other things.

I’m trying my best to get back into reading. I remembered only yesterday that I have a blog tour coming up this week and I HAVEN’T EVEN READ THE BOOK YET! Welp. I need to finish it ASAP and write a review for the tour. I’m definitely doing that, so you’ll definitely see me soon.

The hectic two weeks with a bad right hand also meant that I couldn’t bullet journal. My bujo is frozen in time at 27th October. I haven’t been able to set up for November, and I’m unsure if I even will at this point. I’m so not up to spending energy on one more thing, and won’t unless I HAVE to.

On the blogging front, I do have ideas but I don’t have the energy to spend on blog posts. It took me two days of mental preparation to write this blog post. Trust me, I’m tired already. I still haven’t gone back to my normal self who doesn’t need naps every day and can run around all day. So, will I be blogging thrice a week like I was doing last month? I don’t know. My stats are taking a huge hit due to the lack of posts, but it’s not a priority right now. I’ll need to work back to it after my finals, because my finals will start right after I’ve recovered from surgery. It’s going to be a hectic two months.

Linking this for The Sunday Post.


How have you been lately? Has anything great or happy happened in the last couple weeks? Tell me your updates in the comments!