what do I think about commercial blogs on financial freedom?

Sometimes when I read the stories of “highly successful savers”, which are full of glory and high savings rates (like >50%), I get jealous or frustrated or something…

It is because with my best intentions I can only save around 35% of my income and not one (per)cent more (and that is so if I do not get an extra expense related to a serious repair or house maintenance issue). Why? I do not know but I cannot significantly reduce my expenses more than what I already have without seriously hurting the quality of my life, getting really cheap, or foregoing activities, such as visiting my family, that are highly important for me.

When I examine my feelings a little bit deeper, I see that when I read those stories I actually lose my hope to save a lot of money. This is simply because I realize that while I make a great effort to save (saving 35% of my income is not bad at all), since my expense-to-income ratio cannot be reduced more, I become aware that what I can save is considerably less than what I should be saving….. Long story short, those success stories/blogs make me feel like a failure.

Go figure..

Strange, is it not?

When I come to my senses and start thinking objectively, things start to look a little bit better. I think that some of these blogs are not giving us the full picture and they function to inspire the readers (which is awesome), yet one also wonders how much their interest in making money out of their blogs affects the stories they write. 

Since last year I ceased reading such “commercial” blogs, some of which are quite famous in the financial freedom-world by the way. I decided their story was not beneficial for me and I wanted to choose to surround myself with positive – not negative- feelings and confidence during my frugal journey.

Additionally, I must note that: there is quite a difference between those commercial blogs and the blogs I follow here, who are genuine and open about their struggles; their accounts are sincere and naturally full of both failures and successes. These are real people and real stories, just like mine and I am very happy to follow them. I would recommend them to everyone who is interested in inspiration, saving, and making better choices related to their finances.

 

 

feeling agitated and believing in adventure

One of these times when things are all too much, some people are doing stuff that they are not supposed to, my nerves are cracking, and I feel low and agitated. But hey, it is all adventure 🙂

Why adventure? 

I do not know – I saw a post today by a fellow blogger I like to follow. The post somehow linked the “unexpected” with the “adventure” and here I am; inspired and doing the same thing; linking the agitation I feel nowadays with an unknown adventure 🙂

Naturally, I am trying to move on and feel good by finding the positive among all the muddy and spiky agitating experiences. I know my (agitating) feelings will subsidize eventually and I will feel okay again. So, it is only a matter of time before I leave these behind.

But not before I get what I am supposed to get out of these experiences.

That is the adventure 🙂

 

would I follow my own blog?

Honestly I have no idea…

Let me contemplate for a minute or two…..

I have a tendency to follow blogs that are focused on certain themes (like gratitude, cats, poetry, recipes, bread-baking, or minimalism). If I was to look for such a blog that is focused on one or two topics I think I would be more inclined not to follow my blog.

This is because I have no focus on particular themes. Generally speaking I write about anything  – any day I may come up with a post on something different. I think sometimes it makes it hard to follow or sometimes perhaps interesting/stimulating – after all variety and spontaneity may be interesting time to time, at least for me.

Or, is it?

So, I must ask my fellow bloggers and followers:

Why do you guys follow me really?

And, why would you or would not follow your own blog if you were someone else?

so it has been 2 years blogging…

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So it has been two years that I started this blog??

Wow!

Time has truly flied.

I started this blog to keep my mind busy with something new so that I could heal my heart break. I was not interested in neither writing nor reading blogs.

At first, of course…

Then, things have changed.

I started to be brave and enjoy putting in words whatever came to my mind. I wrote my first poetry here; often without editing or revising, and in my second language. A couple of them turned out to be good. Surprising…. I write my joy journal here. My humble lazy recipes. My daily ordeals and baking adventures. My struggles with issues, work, unhappiness, and loss of dead ones, to count a few. Over time, I opened more and more about myself, my inner world, and my life – I never thought I would in a virtual world. What a blessing and freeing opportunity.

I also started to enjoy reading others’ blogs and learning from them; the pain, love, excitement, and issues of people out there; I come to realize once more that we all were more or less the same. I thought and reflected a lot. I still do.

I met with wonderful people here; supportive, smart, sincere, genuine, and lovely. I found myself in a community – a virtual but nevertheless real community.

The recipes made my day; even though I did not like cooking. I sure tried many bread recipes posted here, though.

I did my most frequent decluttering activities, thanks to many bloggers here that inspired me with their efforts, plans, and wisdom.

I got many useful tips about budgeting, saving, and financial health. Some of them I implemented in my own financial life.

I learnt about others’ suffering, like sickness or treatment. I developed empathy as a result.

I learnt things that I had never thought before; like minimalism, homesteading.

I learnt about myself; not only by blogging but also by interacting with other fellow bloggers.

Blogging, in a sense, has changed me and my life next to my family, friends, unfortunate life events, and career.

I never thought it would.

I am mesmerized….

And hugely grateful….

joy journal – August 14, 2016

I have lots to be grateful for 🙂

1. I am grateful for the funny movie I have watched yesterday night. I was up till 1.30 am and as a result woke up a little bit tired this morning. However, this movie made me laugh a lot and sometimes very aloud! What a rare treat 🙂

2. I am grateful for the coffee and bagel I have had this morning. My mind was full of thoughts so I did not even remember going to the cafe or eating the bagel, but hey, at least I provided breakfast for myself (I usually do not eat breakfast) 🙂

3. I am grateful for walking to a store 15 minutes away. They did refund me for the passport photo they took, which turned out to be too light in colour and as such, unacceptable for the passport office. No questions were asked. I had no receipt (only their stamp and date at the back of one of the photos) and a form from the passport office stating the reason for not accepting the photo. I was prepared to make a complaint, yet rather I was welcome with a rapid refund. How great is that? 🙂

4. I am grateful for speaking with my family and knowing that they are well and sound.

5. I am grateful for baking my best bread so far 🙂 I have eaten more than half of one of the loafs (it was a small loaf, so no need to get alarmed 🙂 )

6. I am grateful for my sourdough starter that excites me. Today is the 6th day and I must say I was getting tired of taking its picture; analyzing its rise, smell, and texture, and taking notes; and feeding it everyday. It is great that as of this evening, it is placed in the fridge and will be handled only once a week to feed or to use in a sourdough loaf 🙂

7. I am grateful for today not being too hot.

8. I am grateful for eating veggies today.

9. I am grateful for having the night to myself. it is peaceful and just the right temperature. I can read or write whatever I want. It is also a great time for reflection. I have always been a night-owl 🙂

10. I am grateful for my pens and my papers/notebooks that allow me to write, list, or plan things. Very exciting activity 🙂

11. I am grateful for computer and internet connection that make learning, reading, and blogging easy and possible.

12. I am grateful for my floss! I love my floss ( a tri-liner). Am I the only person who loves their floss?? 🙂

13. I am grateful for everything I have at home; my furniture, my appliances, my kitchen items, my shoes and clothes, my books and notebooks, pens and pencils, plants and food. They make my life easy, and me safe, full, warm, and content.

14. I am grateful for being grateful and taking my time to note it here.

15. I am grateful for everyone here who commented on my posts lately, re; adopting a cat. You guys took time to read and respond and gave me many useful ideas. I felt supported and cared, and you may know well that this is a very good feeling, especially when it is needed. So, my friends; may your lives fill with happiness and peace and may your hearts find whatever good things/people/experiences you are longing for.

Thank you all.

One Lovely Blog Award

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Once again, I am humbled by one of my fellow bloggers, Jennie at A teacher’s reflections, by being nominated for a blogger award. Jennie is a long-term teacher with a sharp focus and compassion for education. I always admired and respected teachers, and I am happy to follow Jennie to learn about an teacher’s wisdom and observations in education. Thank you very much for this nomination Jennie.

I am usually skeptical about who we directly benefit by circulating this blogger awards, yet I also see a value in recognizing other bloggers for their blogs and sharing a little bit more about themselves and myself. So, here we go 🙂

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I have pasted the award photo and the rules directly from Jennie’s post. Here they are:

The Rules:

*Thank the person who nominated you, and give a link to his/her blog.

*List the rules.

*Display  the image of the award on your post.

*List seven facts about yourself.

*Nominate (up to) 15 bloggers for this award, and notify them to let them know you have nominated them.

Seven Facts About Me:

1. I am an introvert and would be comfortable with people after a long time of interaction. It helps me to assess the individuals and develop trust – we do not need unnecessary or hurtful people in our lives – only great ones. That is my motto 🙂

2. I recently became interested in baking breads and I am having a great time reading, writing, and experimenting about baking 🙂

3. I do not know how to ride a bike. I may be able to drive a car in case of an emergency (with a 5 mph/hour speed 🙂 ), but hopefully that will never be required – I do not even have a driving licence 🙂

4. I am on a life-long quest to happiness. I think everybody deserves it and it is a beautiful thing. I salute all out there who are happy and who are like myself are on their way to become happy 🙂

5. I have got a PhD degree. I studied for a very long time with little pay, but also got to live and work in many different countries, obtained many incredible skills and experiences, and constantly try to benefit the humanity as a whole through my work.

6. English is my second language.

7. I love blogging and reading others’ posts. It is a great way to learn and pass time. Plus, I (virtually) met with tons of great people here. Thanks for this joy everyone 🙂

Here are my nominees at no particular order (There are many more bloggers to list here; I sure will acknowledge them at another time):

1. Deb at https://onceuponahotflash.com/ Her daily gratitude posts and her wisdom about life are one of my most interesting experience here in the blogger sphere 🙂

2. Melanie at https://1000needles.com/. She makes amazing quilts and I like her kindness very much.

3. Hidden hoarder at http://hiddenhoarder.com/. She is another kind blogger who is always positive and supportive. She has been on an amazing “decluttering” adventure, which is very inspirational 🙂

4. You and me at https://savingwithoutscrimping.wordpress.com/. She is like myself on a frugal life journey and often has very useful tips to share 🙂

5. Pamela at https://mymoneycounts.org/. Great tips and experiences for saving money and living a frugal life 🙂

6. Cheryl and Becky at Life With Becky. lovely people with great and practical recipes 🙂

7. Red at https://iamredphoenix.com/. A very strong and lovely young woman, who chronicles her life and cancer journey. Very inspirational blog 🙂

8. John and Barb at https://declutteringthestuff.wordpress.com/. A great blog about decluttering and saving/financial freedom 🙂

9. Cori at https://thelookingglasslife.wordpress.com/. One of the blogs that always delights me with their recipe 🙂

10. Saadia at https://saadiapeerzada.wordpress.com/. Amazing poetry 🙂  I have been following this blog from the beginning on 🙂

11. averagegirlsavingmoney at https://averagegirlsavingmoney.com/. Another great and genuine blog about saving money and frugal life style 🙂

12. Anne Price at https://snowbirdofparadise.com/. She is one wise and lovely lady, who also touches social issues – love her posts 🙂

13. Grace at https://thecfomom.wordpress.com/. Another lovely blogger determined to save and have financial freedom 🙂

14. BetweenThreeWaters at https://betweenthreewaters.com/. She is a mom with two lovely kids – there is always love and somethings to cheer you up in her posts 🙂

15. https://quercuscommunity.com/. These bloggers have amazing post on children, farming, and our interactions with animals and nature 🙂

 

Thanks everyone 🙂

random thoughts

I believe it is around a year that I have started my blog here – I just surprised myself by remembering this.. A year.. Wow…

A year ago I was writing my first posts, not knowing what exactly this blog would be about. Not knowing what to expect to find. What to write. How or whether to respond to comments or how or whether to write comments on others’ posts.

A lot changed since then; I have evolved, so have my blog. It is pretty neat indeed.

Posts and bloggers I like to read have changed since then; mostly expanded. Sometimes I got to learn about new concepts, sometimes I just remembered, sometimes I knew about the topic but read the posts anyways – just to see the other point of views.

Sometimes I followed blogs first for some reason and then continued to read their posts about a variety of topics. Sometimes, I read a post first, something clicked, and then I followed the blogger. The reasons for choosing the blogs I follow (or unfollow) amuses me somehow.

One new concept I learnt about by reading posts here was “minimalism”. What an interesting concept that I can totally relate to. Boy, am I glad I learnt about it. I cannot think about another concept that was uniquely a blogging experience.

Other concepts I read in posts I knew before, but they have a great role in “reminding” me. Decluttering is one example. Reading the posts about it has been a very inspiring experience; I have done one of my biggest decluttering activity in years thanks to this experience. I must credit getting warm to the idea of thrifting and donating all bunch of stuff after I declutter to the thrifty stores to the posts I read here about decluttering.

Saving, budgeting, frugality, and conscious spending have been ongoing topics for me in the last 5-6 months. Similar to other topics, reading the posts has been incredibly inspiring and useful. All the tips and great points made about them. Knowing that I have not been the only one. Seeing that the majority of the tips work in my life. Keeping being inspired to do better in my budgeting and saving. These are still the most important topics that I keep reading about, almost every day.

One may argue that after a while, new posts may not be as useful as the ones I have read at the beginning (where the learning curve was steeper). That is partially true – I can say that I now know the majority of the tips/experiences written about in the posts. However they are still useful – to remind myself about this important goal of mine. That is why I read the posts on these topics very frequently and with delight.

There are a number of other interesting tags that I follow, some of which include renovation, housekeeping, cancer, and DIY.

Knowing how dynamic is my interests and what a variety of topics the blogs I follow write about, I am curious and excited about the future tags I will follow, future topics I will learn about.

keep up the great work everyone 🙂

cheers

The Siblinghood of The World award :)

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Time for another award and another opportunity to introduce bloggers with each other 🙂

Thanks a lot Joss for nominating me to the Siblinghood of The World Award. I too enjoy reading your blogs, especially those about the money management and life-work balance that you wrote recently; I am looking forward to witnessing you reaching your goals and objectives soon! Keep going 🙂

Ok; as usual, first the rules of the award (pasted directly from Joss’ blog):
Thank the blogger who nominated you and link to their blog in your post.
Display the award on your blog.
Answer the questions that the blogger who nominated you has provided.
Nominate ten other bloggers.
Create ten questions for your nominees, and notify them of their nominations.

Joss’ questions and my answers are:

  1. If you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? South America! There is something calling me in there – I must go, explore, learn, interact, and enjoy something in there. One day.. 🙂
  2. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be? Bagel/bread 🙂 Yep, I can eat them any day, anytime. I am a carb person (though I have done well limiting them since September) 🙂
  3. What’s your favourite book and why? There are a number of books that left a huge impression on myself. If I must select one, today I am selecting “Crime and Punishment” by Dostoevsky. This great Russian writer not only understood the pain and darkness in human psyche, but also brilliantly penned it down. Great novel. Great writer. 
  4. If you were a superhero what would your power be? Healing sick people, including mental ones.
  5. You’re in a room that’s completely dark, do you open the curtains or the door? Surely the curtains 🙂
  6. What is your favourite way to relax? Reading books and lately, blogging
  7. Do you have a lucky charm? Not really, but I do keep items and photos that remind me wonderful people in my life. Feeling their love and support is healing and nourishing :)
  8. What is your favourite colour? Orange 🙂 just check my home page background 🙂
  9. Do you have a favourite song? What is it? Changes time to time; nowadays “Show Must Go On” by Queen 
  10. What’s the cheesiest thing that you like to watch/read? Self-help books! Many people are ashamed to admit that they are reading these books. I am not one of them; sometimes they can be good friends by reminding me that I am not the only one feeling or thinking the way these books are all about 🙂

Here are my nominees: as usual, there are many people to nominate, many to recognize. I can select only 10 bloggers for this award. So here is my list:

  1. https://adventuresofmrbudget.wordpress.com/ great posts on money management/saving
  2. https://unleashyourhappinessblog.wordpress.com/ loving her daily affirmations; so positive
  3. http://howtostuffyourpig.com/ a great blog for those who would like to save money and become more knowledgeable about financial topics
  4. http://movinitwithmichelle.com/  genuine posts on life, recipes (who would not like them?), and running
  5. https://thecoffeemomblog.wordpress.com/ another great blog about saving money and being kind to ourselves
  6. https://prosperityandcalamities.wordpress.com/ photos to recipes to  book reviews.. this blog has diversity 🙂
  7. https://moneylifehappiness.wordpress.com/ money, life, and happiness; important topics here 🙂
  8. http://unchained55.com/ money management; my favorite topics nowadays 🙂
  9. http://directorb.net/ wise words about life; cool
  10. http://guelphfoodwaste.com/ wondering about the food waste and how to reduce it? check it out

Now my questions for the nominees:

1. When was your last decluttering activity?

2. Are you a minimalist? Why? Why not?

3. What types of exercise are your favorites?

4. If you were to cook now, what would it be?

5. Having dreams are wonderful – care to share one of yours?

6. What color is your hair?

7. Do you think that after a while (above 30), it becomes harder to make friends?

8. What is your favorite movie? Why do you think you like it that much?

9. Do you get stressed easily (like myself) or are you usually a calm person?

10. What have you done (or not done) today that you would like to thank yourself for?

Thank you everyone and big cheers! 🙂

random thoughts

We have had the first snow yesterday!

Oh, boy.. It looks good. The trees and the roads are covered by the thin layers of snow. I realized today that I love this kind of scenery. I know I will complain about it and the winter, especially after February (because of ice on the roads, the snow storms, the shoveling adventures, and lack of sunlight), but today I am enjoying it big time 🙂

The work went well. As a matter of fact, I have worked up till 6pm on a document. It is moving really well and I have revised it after I came back home this evening; we are on the right track. I am excited about this. Working feels good 🙂

The day light saving changes made the daylight in the evening shorter; but for sure it also helps me to enjoy the dark evenings more, as there are more people now on the streets after the sunset. For some reason, I happen to like that. I should take my camera with me so that I can take pictures; there is something lovely about the dark roads lightened up by the lights and the streets energized by the people walking and the stores open.

A post I wrote yesterday and the interactions with another blogger (thank you tamtam) at the comments section convinced me to prioritize appreciating myself in my daily life. Here is what I mean:

I happen to do a lot of good stuff, like yourself, in life; doing meaningful work and hopefully contribute to the family, society and humanity as a whole, training, educating, and supporting others, contributing to the local and global economy, producing knowledge and experience, helping others in need, etc.

I love it when I am kind and supportive to others. Yet, like many of you, I am hard on myself; there are always somethings that I need to do better, easier, more, cheaper, etc. Beating up myself should not be the solution to do better. I know that there are things that I really need to be iron-fist-like; I need to be more health conscious for example and I need to get rid of one extra expense from my life. These are probably the only things that I need to be firm on myself right now. But all other times, starting today, I will thank myself for doing good.

Like this morning when I checked whether the plug at the back of my house was turned off; under different conditions I would delay it till this evening; but my inner voice said “check it now” and I did it. What a peace of mind….And I thanked myself after that with a smile. It felt awesome!

Or when I decided to work till 6pm today; even though that meant I could spend less time unwinding at home, working progressed something important and it felt really good. I thank myself for making this decision, and as you guessed, with a large smile on my face 🙂

The same when I decided to walk back to home from the office, instead of taking the cab this evening. It was late and snowy, I was tempted to take the cab, but I did not. I thank myself for this wonderful decision that not only helped me to exercise my body but also save money.

I will keep doing this from now on. I am not sure which part of my blog I will have these posts all together (maybe the joy journal?), but I will always note the things I have done well while thanking myself with a large smile on my face! 🙂

I hope you can thank yourself for many things you have done or not done today 🙂

appreciation to fellow bloggers :)

I would like to thank all the fellow bloggers who are following me; it is currently more than 450 🙂 I never thought I would get that many people who would be interested in hearing what I have to say. From the bottom of my heart, thanks for being interested in my blog!

The same for those who take time to comment on my posts and reply to my comments. Each one of you have somehow enriched my thoughts with your support and kind and encouraging words that also hinted your wonderful characters – thanks a lot 🙂

A final word to those blogs that I follow: I want you to know I read your posts as my time permits and I always like a post only after I read it. I am constantly learning and expanding my vision, thanks to your experiences and writing. Thank you for being here and sharing your world.

cheers everyone 🙂

May your lives be full of beauties, hope, support, and love :)
May your lives be full of beauty, hope, support, and love, however bumpy and dry it may look 🙂 *I like this picture as the little boat looks so off, so away from where it is supposed to be, yet is so full of life…. 🙂

One Lovely Blog Award :)

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One again, I am humbled to be nominated for a blogger award, this time to “One Lovely Blog Award” :).

Thank you Jo for nominating me to this award and enabling me to recognize and connect other bloggers through my nominations. Jo and I are just recently connected here and I like the open and honest discussions she has about life, her life, health, and progress as she goes thru healing, self-reflection, and self-development; you may want to check her blog yourself.

According to Jo, here are the rules for this award (pasted directly from Jo’s post):
Thank the blogger who nominated you for the award.

Display the banner/sticker/logo on your blog.

Share 7 facts or things about yourself.

Nominate 5 bloggers that you admire and inform nominees by commenting on their blog.

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7 Facts About Me:

  1. I would like to be an advocate for cancer patients, caregivers, and long-term survivors.
  2. My preferences for color changed over time; 10-20 years ago, all I wanted to wear was black; 6-7 years ago it changed to blue and white. At home and at office, I love orange colour as paint or on decorative items- it gives me energy. Like sun 🙂
  3. I am going through a “middle age awakening”; I will dump the things and people that do not serve me well and replace them with things and people that make me happier, calmer, more content, and more alive. I want more meaning in my life and no regrets. I have one life and more than half of it already passed..
  4. I do not like house chores at all but every week do them anyhow 🙂
  5. I just prepared a video clip to thank a previous mentor of mine to be screened during her retirement party! I loved the idea and I hope I could make it clear how appreciative I have been and how deeply my mentor has influenced my life journey and made things possible for me. I hope she will like it.
  6. I have an habit of buying multiple copies of the things I like; like the same clothes, shoes, or stationary items; If I love, I would like to have them for a long time. I never got bored of them, even though it may take years to wear them down.
  7. I can make difficult decisions using my logic; but the emotions of course may remain unsatisfied and demand attention, even after a long time.

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My nominees: It is always hard to choose among all the wonderful people I get to meet here – apologies !! 🙂

Here is my list for this award (I chose 7 bloggers before I realize). Congratulations each one of you; keep up the good work 🙂

  1. https://hiddenhoarder.wordpress.com/
  2. https://notesfromanarcissist.wordpress.com/
  3. http://www.beyou-bethebestyou.com/
  4. https://prosperityandcalamities.wordpress.com/
  5. http://1000needles.com/
  6. https://savingwithoutscrimping.wordpress.com/
  7. http://cookiesnchem.com/

Liebster award :)

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I am once again humbled by being nominated to a blogger award – this time by Saadia Peerzada 🙂 for the Liebster award.

I am okay to respond to blogger awards as they are a nice way of help connecting fellow bloggers.

Many thanks Saadia. I sure am enjoying reading your post and poems. As a matter of fact you are one of the blogs that I have been following from the beginning on. Keep up the good work! 🙂

THE RULES:  (directly copied from Saadia’s post; nominated bloggers, you can copy and paste these)               

– Insert the Liebster award logo in your post
– Thank and link those who nominated you
– (After reading the official rules) You also have to reveal 11 interesting facts about yourself!
– Answer the questions designated by the blogger who nominated you
– Nominate up to 11 other new bloggers with less than 100 followers
– Ask 11 questions of your own to your nominees that they have to answer
– Notify your nominees about The Liebster Award
– Include instructions of the process in your post

Okay,  11 facts about me 🙂 I wrote a post about it before – it can be found here. 

And here are the questions Saadia asked me to answer:

  1. What is your ambition in life? Making a positive change in human life through my work and social interactions. I believe in this. We all can make a positive difference in somebody’s life in addition to our own 🙂
  2. Who’s your favourite author and poet? Just one!!! Argh… I have so many. okay. Nobody can write the human psychology and pain better than Dostoevsky. Shakespeare’s poems (sonnets) are awesome 🙂
  3. How will you classify your eating habits: unhealthy, moderate or healthy? Somewhere in between unhealthy and moderate. I do not eat sweets, fatty food, or chocolate etc. BUT I have a problem with eating too much bread and other refined carbs.. My struggle with healthy eating can be found in my daily posts under the “healthy life – style journal” page.
  4. What is/ was your favourite subject? Literature! (it is sad that I did not study it..)
  5. Would your 8 year old self be proud of who you are today? Yep 🙂
  6. What is your ultimate fear? having a chronic and debilitating disease
  7. Are you a technology obsessed? Why or why not? Nope. Not at all. I have no explanation for that.
  8. Are you a morning person? Absolutely not!! I only become myself around 8-9 pm at night. Nights are beautiful 🙂
  9. Favourite quote? None. I have no particular one that I keep remember.
  10. Are you a pessimist or an optimist? A little bit of both. Okay… maybe more of a pessimist than an optimist 🙂
  11. What are your thoughts on discrimination? I have a strong stand on this. I have experienced myself discrimination and I am still very sour about these experiences. When will we start seeing people for who they are rather than what they are? This “us versus them” mentality should disappear. We have more things in common than different. Peace.

Enough about me 🙂

Now, let me nominate the bloggers for this award. These are the bloggers I started to follow or interact recently. Have a look and see whether their posts are something you may enjoy, too 🙂

  1. https://collegeonbudget.wordpress.com/
  2. http://unchained55.com/
  3. http://iamredphoenix.com/
  4. https://tenways10.wordpress.com/
  5. https://lifeandtimesofthemoneypennys.wordpress.com/
  6. https://declutteringthestuff.wordpress.com/
  7. https://smilingdad.wordpress.com/
  8. https://retiredrevolution.wordpress.com/
  9. http://1000needles.com/
  10. https://lumosandlemons.wordpress.com/
  11. https://janicegstevens.wordpress.com/

here are my questions for you nominated bloggers! 🙂

  1. What have you done today that has made you happy, joyful, or excited?
  2. Is Friday your favorite day, too?
  3. It took me years (literally) to find the right floss for me; do you have such an experience you would like to share?
  4. How many shoes do you currently have? How many did you not use in the last 1 year?
  5. What are your opinions on minimalism?
  6. if there was one advice you could share with us about living a simple life, what would that be?
  7. Which one do you like most and why? Novels, poetry, movies.
  8. List one meal you are very fond of.
  9. House chores – on a scale from 1 (least) to 10 (most), how much do you like them?
  10. Who is the most influential person in your academic life (e.g. school or profession)?
  11. What are you grateful for today?

Sunshine Blogger Award :)

I thank howtostuffyourpig.com for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award 🙂 howtosttuffyourpig is one of my all-time favorite bloggers who writes about a variety of interesting topics – from personal finance/savings to managing debt to cooking and all (very practical tips as well). Perhaps you would like to check her website! Please do – you likely will not be sorry for your time.

The rules for this award are below (copied and pasted from the nominator’s site):

  • Thank the person who nominated you.
  • Answer the questions from the person who has nominated you.
  • Nominate some other bloggers for this award.
  • Write the same amount of questions for the bloggers you have nominated.
  • Notify the bloggers you have nominated

The questions I was assigned to  and my answers to them are:

  1. Who is your favorite author? Recently Tess Gerritsen. She is a physician by training and writes excellent crime novels. I am sincerely in awe with her writing as well as the plots that always surprise and delight me as a reader.
  2. What is your favorite food/recipe? My favorite food is bread 🙂 Although I gotta cut it out from my diet to lose some unhealthy level of fat. 
  3. What is your favorite hobby? Blogging since I started it. very interesting experience that helped me not only to express my experiences, opinions, or feelings but also to learn from fellow bloggers. So far it has been an amazing experience – thanking all who share their posts and interact so nicely with me 🙂
  4. What is the one thing people would be surprised to know about you? That despite my tough look, I am only highly sensitive and when I get hurt I will get pissed off rather than crying 🙂
  5. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? Other than home? I always wanted to visit and live in Caribbean or South American countries.
  6. If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be? Diminishing violence.

A number of bloggers are doing an excellent job keeping me engaged with their useful and genuine posts and comments; I will not be able to nominate all of them here (that is unfortunate….). I also know from my previous experiences that some bloggers do not appreciate or will not prefer to follow up on the award nominations. Even so I will nominate some of them here, not because I expect them to accept and go on with the award posts but because they deserve such awards very much (in my opinion). So here are my nominees:

  1. https://tannachtonfarm.wordpress.com/ please please have a look at this blog; If I am not wrong there are multiple writers/family members posting in this blog and all are nice and genuine people. I have learnt so much by reading their posts on farming to animal care, from frugality to family, from meals to life as a general. It is unreal.. I highly recommend you to check their posts 🙂
  2. Ninasusan is one of my favorites – she is fun, wise, and writes about all bunch of different things. I love reading her blogs and interacting with her through comments 🙂
  3. http://healthfulsaver.com/  is one the blogs I started to follow recently. I like the the informative posts on recipes, budgeting and frugality that are written in such a simple, elegant, and effective way – well done 🙂
  4. https://frombusttoboom.wordpress.com/ is another blog that I love reading and following. S/he writes on a variety of topics that I can relate to, including but not limited to budgeting, finances, and life – those about being grateful and those that reminds us about the wisdom and beauty in life are a must read. Give it a try 🙂
  5. thesmallc I know she will not follow this with an award post (previous experience 🙂 ) but she truly deserves many awards by her writing. I am sincerely impressed by the depth of her writing, and how genuinely she can express herself and write about sensitive subjects in such a mature, neutral, and human way while also make you think and realize things you have forgotten or not experienced. Absolutely worth your time to check her blog 🙂  
  6. http://ordinaryadventures.co/  here is a fresh blog by a young lady whose writings I find very positive and lovely. Take a look and decide yourself 🙂
  7. http://alienblob.com/  I know she will not respond to this nomination (previous experience 🙂 ) yet MeRaw is one of those bloggers who has always been genuine and lovely in her posts and interactions. I have great admiration for her strength and insight.

My questions to the nominees are as follows:

  1. What is the most interesting blogging experience you have had?
  2. Which one is more annoying? Rain or snow? 🙂
  3. If you were to be given an extraordinary amount of cash, what would be the first thing that appear in your mind?
  4. What do you think about frugality and what are your best advice to achieve it?
  5. Have you ever had a pet? What is your most cherished memory about it?
  6. What else do you think can be done to reduce the burden of cancer in our communities/countries/world?

cheers everyone 🙂

why do I follow, unfollow, and re-follow?

Having a blog is interesting; not only in terms of writing, reading and learning from fellow bloggers, but also in terms of understanding my behavior and preferences, including when it comes to who to follow, when and why to unfollow.

The answer to “who to follow” is simple; the topics are interesting and writing is good. These are the primary points. Certainly it is not possible to read the entire list of posts, but a bunch of them usually give me a preliminary idea. Then, I click the follow button. Easy job.

Those who are unfollowed are a different story; I noticed a variety of reasons for unfollowing:

1. Mean, aggressive, violent/dark, or otherwise annoying characters, writings, or comments and interactions with others.

2. Those that use profanity.

3. Those that pressure their readers somehow; for example about their other social media sites – once a blogger said something like that “shame on you if you are not following my this and that site”. Ok buddy; what is that about? Sigh…

4. Those that promote their works, businesses, or skills with NO added value. I am following a number of companies, which posts valuable and useful information – I am happy to follow them. But I am not going to keep following self-promoting blogs (by individuals or companies) for no reason, for nothing valuable in return. Very simple.

5. Those that comment to every single post with text-book like quotes or recommendations. Not genuine! Not at all! (I wrote a post about that a while ago and it was effective; the nonsense at that time had stopped..).

6. Those blogs whose topic is no longer an interest to me. An example is the gardening-related ones that I was very interested in May; this interest unfortunately is gone (though I still keep checking time to time using the “tags” section). There is nothing wrong with these blogs; it is just a matter of my current interests.

7. Those who blog very infrequently; I am more comfortable following the blogs whom I get to know through their posts (and comments), and who add value to my blogging experience. I am not saying everybody should be posting every day or every week, but if the frequency is something like once a month or less, I have difficulty connecting with. Among those that I follow, I have solid connections with a number of bloggers, which make my blogging experience a great one (thank you!).

8. This one is an exception; I unfollowed a blog yesterday because the main theme of the blogger was something that badly depressed me. I would like to respect opinions, especially if they are about the people’s own lives. But I felt totally down with the post yesterday where the blogger, who refused treatment, explained the details of the disease as s/he experienced… I felt not only depressed, but also weird watching this happening…. I should be respecting that person’s decision about her own health and about refusing treatment, but I cannot take the feeling that was created on me. This is the weirdest experience I have had here and I cannot shake it off, not yet.

And then there are those who I re-follow; usually this is the case when the topics were not interesting for me at one point, but later became interesting again. I have a couple of such blogs in my list right now. Thank you for understanding 🙂

I just realized that there may be another reason why I do not follow more than a manageable number of blogs at the same time: I do not have the habit to “block” the blogs where I am in the follower list but choose not to see their posts – to me this would be weird. Whoever I follow, I make sure to read what they gotta say in their posts.

That is all for now. Cheers everyone.

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

I am humbled once again.

Thank you Deb for nominating me for the “Very Inspiring Blogger” Award.

Deb has a candid and humorous blog, which also includes “our daily gratefulness post” section; those who follow me know how much I love this kind of posts 🙂

You may as well check Deb’s blog and see what she has to offer for you. Deb, thanks again for this opportunity to recognize the bloggers that I find inspiring and valuable (though the list is incomplete..).

According to Deb, the rules for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award are:

  •  Thank the person who nominated you for the award.
  •  Add the logo to your post.
  •  Nominate ten (10) bloggers you admire and inform them of the nomination

I have had a tough time selecting 10 inspiring bloggers; as far as I am concerned, I would like to nominate all of you, whom I often interact with or learn something from. Those who I miss I hope will do the favor to forgive me.

here are my nominees:

1. http://thesmallc.com/ (I love her posts and opinions on her cancer journey and life; admiring most her candid, genuine, positive, and powerful writing and interactions with others, including me)

2. http://howtostuffyourpig.com/ (watch this lady for excellent and very practical budgeting and saving strategies 🙂 she made a difference in me)

3. https://frombusttoboom.wordpress.com/ (similarly, an excellent blog for budgeting and saving strategies 🙂 )

4. http://ninasusan.com/ (very tough lady 🙂 but also very funny and wise; wishing her a fast recovery from a recent surgery)

5. https://theonlysup.wordpress.com/ (inspiring posts on anything from financial planning to soft-skills to poems..)

6. http://alienblob.com/ (grieving due to a significant loss; dealing with not only this loss but also cancer and life; I admire her strength and wishes her the best)

7. https://anunscheduledjourney.wordpress.com/ (breast cancer veteran – I hope she does not mind the term veteran – has a deep insight about life and healing – I’ve learnt a lot)

8. http://mychordomajourney.com/ (thanks to him I learnt about chordoma, a rare type of bone cancer. He is doing an excellent job about raising awareness on this disease)

9. https://tamtam01blog.wordpress.com/ (from budgeting to photography to genuine posts about anything in life; this blog has a lot to offer)

10. https://potterwillam3.wordpress.com/ (if you are looking for a blog that posts on a variety of topics, including lymphoma, by a kind and wise person, you gotta check his blog)

Cheers everyone – keep up the wonderful work of informing, teaching, and supporting us through your posts!

a world within a world

When I first opened this account, I had planned it to be work-related and had one or two post over many months. Many of my colleagues have blogs and they are happy to write and promote them for professional reasons. But I could never move my own.

Then something happened and I felt that I had things to say, things to share, things to put in writing. So I changed the theme and started to write poems and a little story-line. It went so, with spontaneous addition of other pages (such as question of the day, today’s crush) and before I knew it, I started to write about my thoughts and experiences as well. Recently I re-started with few poems and some fictional posts.

I never thought I would have such a blog, write these posts, or write poems or stories like this; I am sincerely surprised. I  cannot wait to see how it will evolve over time.

I am spending quite a bit of time everyday here, writing or reading. I enjoy both of them. I have come across many beautiful and interesting blogs, which I am happy to follow. I have also started to interact with some of you about your blogs or by responding to your comments. I was very hesitant at the beginning (for a long time actually), because of previous bad experiences with virtual interactions. So far all correspondence was respectful, genuine, supportive, understanding, or fun, which tells me that I am in fact very lucky 🙂

Some of you guys/ladies are really great, smart, and lovely which makes me feel very excited to get to know you, and very grateful for;  thank you all 🙂

In addition to the changes in the types of my posts and the way I interact with the others here, I also change the topics I read about or the blogs I follow (I usually keep frequent posters and those who are insightful, kind, and nice; so the turn-over is actually not too much). That is in fact exciting as I love reading and learning about new topics. Last month I read mostly about gardening and budgeting/saving for example. I am now not that interested in gardening, but my interest in budgeting and saving continues. I also have a new interest, which is DIY. I know that anytime I am curious about something or need informal info, I can get it here.

To me this blog-space is a world within a world; a life within a life.

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