The Mystery Blogger Award

Hello everyone!

I’ll try not to make it a habit to post tags too often, but I thought I’d just do this one, just so you all can find out a bit more about me since this blog is still fresh.

Thank you to the lovely Abi Lyn for tagging me for this award! ❤

First up, the rules!
1. Put the award logo/image on your blog.
2. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
3. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well. (This award was created by Okoto Enigmas.)
4. Answer the 5 questions you were asked.
5. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
6. You have to nominate 10-20 people.
7. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blogs.
8. Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question.
9. Share a link to your best post(s).

I thought I’d splatter the post with a bunch of corny gifs to spice it up a little. Alrighty, let’s get started then!

Le Questions

1. What is your favorite meal for dinner?

Oh, anything with potatoes in it. Or soup, because weirdly enough, I’m a soup addict. Or rice paper rolls. *licks lips*

Oh look, it’s Michelle!
2. What’s your favorite kind of fruit juice?

I don’t drink juice a lot, but if I had to choose, mango or orange juice is nice.

This is a very dizzying gif…
3. What is your favorite type of music?

I love all kinds of music! It depends what mood I am in. I’m usually listening to contemporary music or songs from musicals, but I love a Capella as well. I’ve currently been obsessed with the Wicked soundtrack and Rachel Platten songs.

4. What is your favorite room in the house and why?

My bedroom, because it’s comfortable and quiet, and I can sing really loud, and because our house doesn’t have a lot of rooms other than other people’s bedrooms. But I also love it in the family room when everyone is there, because it’s cozy and I love spending time with family.

5. If you could become fluent in one language in an instant, what language would it be?

I think I’d pick Tagalog (Filipino), because it’s natural to want to know your own language. If I had a second choice, I would pick French.

3 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME

  1. I’m a Hufflepuff. 36% Hufflepuff, 23% Gryffindor, 21% Ravenclaw, and 20% Slytherin.
I thought this was Ricky Gervais for a second

2. I was homeschooled all the way up to grade 10.

3. I’m secretly Hermione Granger even though I’m not really like her, and I only wrote this because I couldn’t think of another fact about me.

I nominate: (apologies if you don’t do tags)

Noah @ Life In Kyoto

Rhi @ Marshmallow Harmonies

Sarah @ Paraphernalia

Jo @ Pananaw

Kenechi Duatron @ Randomgirlsramblings

Trudy @ True Story

I also nominate all the other Hufflepuffs out there, and anyone else who would like to do this award/tag!

My questions for you

  1. What is the strangest story and/or blog post you have ever written?
  2. What is your current favourite book and why?
  3. Are you an extrovert, an ambivert, or an introvert?
  4. Would you rather have one wish granted right now, or three wishes granted five years from now?
  5. What qualities do you look for in a friend?

And last but not least, my favorite post to write was 9 Things Les Miserables Tells Us About Life.

I had a lot of fun with this post, so thank you once again, Abi, for nominating me!

| Do you like doing tags? | Which Hogwarts house do you belong to? | Do you like potatoes and soup? | Will you do this tag? |

P.S The backround featured image is from Canva.com

4 Steps to Making Great Goals for 2020

Hello everyone!

During this time of year we’re getting ready to go back to school (well some of us), we’re making new goals and reaching for new stars.

Last week, I took a goal-setting class on The Young Writer’s Workshop. Because of how much it helped me, I wanted to share with you the four steps I learned to setting good goals– condensed into one post. For this class, we were setting goals for our writing journey, fiction of non-fiction. However, you can set goals for anything you would like.

The first step to making great goals is to reflect on the past year.

This is a time to focus on gratitude, milestones (big or small), achievements and anything else you would like to include. Do this in bullet points, or you can even freewrite a messy paragraph if that’s what works for you. If you can’t remember what happened, ask your family members or refer to your journal if you have one. When you’re writing this, some things to remember are:

  • Milestones/achievements
  • Obstacles that didn’t defeat you
  • Paradigm shifts you experienced (a fundamental change in approach or underlying assumptions– a change in mind, basically)
  • Important decisions you made
  • Key books or resources you completed

After you’ve done this, figure out what worked and what didn’t, so you can block out the unhelpful things, and continue doing the things that benefited you.

Now it’s time to reflect on where you want to be in the future.

This should be a free, one paragraph (or more, I can’t expect writers to keep it to one) reflection on what you want 2020 to look like for you. Write down everything that comes to mind, and don’t be afraid to go wild on this, this is for you, no one else.

Write this in present tense. So instead of, ‘I will wake up early every morning to read my Bible’, it should be ‘I wake up early every morning to read my Bible’. This helps to get you into this positive mindset; it’s as if you are already doing it, and we can envision ourselves already reaching our goals.

Have fun with this step!

The next step is to reflect on your current reality and where you are now in life.

I get that this may be a little discouraging, but this will be very helpful to plan your next steps. I find it helped me to face what I was feeling and allow me to do something about it, or even just realise it. If you’re not comfortable doing this, don’t feel you have to.

This is a time to get brutally honest about your current situation. Where are you now? Maybe you’re dealing with some tough things, or you’re stressed out. Whatever it is, take the time to write it down. After you’ve done this, take some time to write a short reflection on what you learned from this exercise. Maybe you’ve discovered something you’ve been hiding from, or didn’t want to realise.

Refer back to your desired destination in step 2 and use them to help you write down 2-4 big goals for the year.

Ah, here we are. We’ve come to the setting-goals step. The first step, is to make sure these goals are your own and based on your views, values, and ideas; not anyone else’s.

It’s really important to keep your goals minimal, as it can be overwhelming to have a lot of goals. After you have written down your big goals for the year, now is the time to plan out the next achievable and simple step to get you closer to your goal. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T. Specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

A bad example of a goal would be:

Goal: I’ll get better at blogging.

What exactly does ‘better’ mean for you? What does it look like to ‘get better’? Be specific. It’s not time measurable. Is there a deadline? This might seem obvious to you, but having the deadline right next to your goal — even if it’s just December 31st 2020 — is helpful.

A bad example of a next step would be:

Consistency equals getting better, so I’ll start being consistent on my blog.

Although it is great to be consistent, what does consistency look like for you based on what your schedule is already like? How does one ‘start’ being consistent?

For example, one of my goals is:

Goal 3: Consistently write 1 blog post per week until the end of the year.

Next step: Sit down and write down blog post ideas and based on past postings, find the day that works best for me to post. (My next step could be: make a detailed plan with deadlines as well as plan days to batch create.)

The goal is time measurable, and something that I can achieve if I work at it. The next step will get me one step closer to my goal, and is specific. When you’re setting your next steps, be sure to set ones that you can easily complete so that you can write down your next step after that. Or, ones that will set a chain reaction of consistency and habit are great. But for now, focus on one easy-to-complete next step.

If your goal was ‘Get better at blogging’, you could change it to: Complete and study (book title) on blogging by (date). Your next step could be something like: Go to the library to check for the book, and gather a few friends to study the book with me.

Once you have your goals, well done! If you did this, share your goals down below if you’re comfortable. I would love to read them and cheer you on! All of our goals will look different for each of us. Some of our next steps may include making detailed plans, but some of you might not like rigid plans and are more flexible. Do what works for you, just make sure they follow the S.M.A.R.T plan. 🙂

To review the steps:

1. Reflect on the past year.

2. Reflect on where you want to be in the future.

3. Reflect on where you are now.

4. Make your goals using the S.M.A.R.T plan.

All that said, the process of setting goals should not be stressful or overwhelming; it should be fun and motivating. If it’s starting to overwhelm you, maybe it’s time to take a step back and be kind to yourself. 🙂

I promise this is not a tactic to get you to comment; I genuinely love reading your comments, and I love responding to each and every one of them.

What are your goals and next steps in 2020?

Did you find this post helpful? Will you do these steps?

Anything else you want to comment? Leave it down below! This is a judgement free zone, and your mind is welcome. 😉

 P.S The backround featured image is from Canva.com

In Which I Fangirl Over Beck And August And Joey And Perfect Notes

You’re worth more than a thousand perfect notes.

Yes my darling Beck, yes you are.

OH. MY. WORD. How perfect is this book? I can’t describe all my fuzzy feelings for this awesome book. I read this in a couple hours and I loved every minute of it.

Zielle, you may ask, what’s with the title? Who in the potato is Beck and Joey and August and Perfect Notes? This is a book review by the way. As soon as I finished the book and I scribbled down a messy, jumbled, fan-girly review and posted it on Goodreads. My mum read it and told me not to change it up because it seems natural. Lucky for you, I edited a little bit, just so it’s at least seemingly coherent.

An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.

Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music – because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.

When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

|The Style/Writing |

The way C.G Drews presents the story is so real and deep, it reels in the reader and makes it so relatable. I was hooked with every page and devoured the book in a couple hours.

Drews did a fantastic job of weaving in amazing and deep quotes throughout the book; they were so full of wisdom and thoughtfulness; prepare your highlighters, readers!

And let me just say, the style. WOW. The style is so beautiful and it connected with me and penetrated my very soul because it was thoughtful and broken and hurt and confused and amazing and talented, and at this point I’m just talking about Beck Keverick.

|The Charries |

I think cinnamon roll or vegan cake sorry I just had too is the only way to describe Beck. He is the kindest, most caring person ever. He was a character I could really connect with because of the way he was portrayed. His thoughts scattered throughout the book made the reading experience everything. He cares so much for August, although he tries not to show it, and it is so obvious how much he cares for Joey. He is the most gorgeous human bean.

Can I just say how much I love Joey? It breaks my heart to see how broken she is, and how her world slowly changes when she witnesses things a five year old shouldn’t witness.

And August is the sweetest human. I loved her banter, her dialogue, and her personality. And also her parents. How can I not mention her parents?

I think my heart nearly stopped when I read that part about Jan and then realised that he was still a good guy who was on Beck’s side because Beck deserves it. I also just realised that sentence will only make sense to people who have actually read the book. Jan is an amazing addition to the book.

The author crafted these characters so well, although (I know the story is not about Beck’s mother) I wanted to see a bit more layers to his mum. That’s not gonna stop me from giving this book the five stars it deserves, though.

Can you tell I LOVED this book?? Because I do. And did I mention that I love it? There are so many beautiful lines in this book. It’s all so deep and meaningful and everything ties in perfectly together and I didn’t want to put it down.

|Content |

There is a bit of swearing and insults in German and one s**t, and physical and verbal child abuse of my favourite people.

| Overall |

Overall, I totally recommend that you read this book. It’s not a very heavy read and you can finish it fairly quick, but it has some deep messages in it. To me, every sentence in the book had it’s place and purpose. It was all meaningful.

| Will you read A Thousand Perfect Notes? | Have you read this book before? | Who is your favourite character from one of your favourite books? |

Say Hello 2020 | Just some thoughts

Hello future!

2019 has come to a close, and if it had just come to a close, and it was January 1st instead of 12AM on January 4th, this would make more sense. But play along and pretend it’s January 1st.

It’s New Years Eve, (well it was, at the time I started writing this) there will be food, fireworks, noise, family and friends. It’s a small end of year for us this year, no going to visit relatives, and the whole family isn’t here. But that’s okay.

I’ve thought a little bit about 2020. There are a lot of things to add to the list of things that I could do better. A lot of things are changing. I’m moving schools. That is, I’m moving from homeschool to a big VCE public school. That’s crazy! I’ve been thinking about it, and it scares me. It excites me and I’m grateful for this opportunity, but it’s also scary to think about it. It’s a massive school with new people, it’s a different environment, and it’s the last two years of my schooling. I have that nagging thought in the back of my mind that tells me I’ll never be good enough.

This is the time of year where we usually set expectations for ourselves. It’s so great to make goals for ourselves, but this can be a time where we can compare ourselves to others. We plan vigorously for the next year, and we lift the standards for ourselves so high so that we can be better, that we feel discouraged because we can never reach them. We make goals to be like that popular girl who always looks perfect, or that guy who is good at literally everything. Been there, done that.

Maybe the reason we never reach our goals is because we set them too high. Maybe the reason we don’t change is not the fact that we actually don’t change, but we don’t notice the change. We’re too busy shooting for the highest star, that we don’t notice the star we’ve already caught. I’m not saying to shoot high, go for it! But if it’s for the wrong reason, it’s not healthy for us.

In the youth theatre that I am part of, the director always says that she’s not looking for who is the best singer, or the best actress or the best overall performer. She is looking at us as individuals, and if we are making magic to the best of our ability. Not to the ability of the best singer in the room. To the best of our ability. She looks at whether or not we’re doing our best; pouring our heart and soul into what we’re doing. She wants us to reach for OUR star and no one else’s.

I’m still learning to set goals for myself and no one else. I’m learning to set the goals that I want to set, not the goals that I think other people want me to set. I want to be the best I can be. And it’s still a learning process for me. But I’m learning to reflect on myself and what my goals as an individual are.

And I’ll get there someday. And so will you.

P.S the backround featured image is from Canva.com