#ClaireNotes – June 2017

New Beginnings?

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New beginnings… June was all about many changes in my life. A leap of faith, you may call it (will be doing a future post on this to go into further detail so eyes peeled for that one!).

I decided to take my physical and mental health more seriously than ever. With summer coming round, I had more time to kill, so I decided to rejoin the gym for three more month. And the progress is there but ever-so slightly.

I also took it upon myself to upgrade my blog plan from free to premium, which comes with more features, and will be working more on my blog than last year. We’re talking collaborations, guest writers, reviews and a lot more!

So you might ask why I have a question mark in the heading… Well, my job is on the line. As of now, writing the post and time of publishing, I still don’t know whether I will be employed for another year or not. It breaks my heart but has to be done (policies and whatever); fingers crossed I get chosen and spend another year with amazing colleagues!

Mental Health First Aid Course!

I have written about this a few days ago. I wanted to do something like this for the longest time, and I finally did it. For the next three years, I am a certified Mental Health First Aider!

The course was spread across two days, six hours each. For me, that was a short amount of time to cover mental health, so I hope the Richmond Foundation does more related courses in the future which are longer.

Summertime Happiness!

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Summer holidays started June 23rd at 1pm for me. I spent the whole day at a staff evaluation, where we engaged in a scavenger hunt around the beautiful city of Birgu in Malta. It was so much fun and we had a great laugh!

Some of the tasks we had to do included reenacting a marriage which featured a stranger as a bride or groom (in our team’s case we had two strangers for each role!), singing the Maltese national anthem holding the Maltese flag, taking selfies with as many strangers as possible and also doing the Harlem Shake.

We had points deducted from our team for arriving late at the meeting spot, and came in at second place. Sans the point deduction we would have been crowned winners!


So this was the month of June in a nutshell. Next month will be a special edition of #ClaireNotes because it will be all about LONDON! Really excited about this, and will probably be a whole bunch of places I’ve been to as opposed to sticking to just three goals, so stay tuned for that!

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Summer Survival 101

Summer… probably my least favourite season by a mile. The heat, the sweat, the chaffing of my thighs every time I dare wear a dress or shorts…! On the other hand, I get to do a lot of things I never get the time to do during Winter for various reasons: weather, time, money and a lot more.

Below are a list of things I do to survive summer, which I hope will help others. Sit back and enjoy!

Continue reading “Summer Survival 101”

20 Signs You Love TV Series More Than People

Another relatable list of things you know you are and cannot help admit to but it’s okay because we are all these kinds of people who makes us human so it’s okay.

Did I say it’s okay?

Continue reading “20 Signs You Love TV Series More Than People”

#ClaireNotes – May

Juggling Things

No, I’m not joining a circus as a juggler. This month, life really took a toll with the amount of things that have been happening in my life: courses, personal matters, work stuff, family stuff, assignments, training for a new job and so much more.

But I got through it like a champ, I reckon.

Exams

6 exams. And two assignments. I haven’t had an exam since last year for my VET Secretarial Course, which was just one exam, but having SIX in a matter of three weeks is too overwhelming for me.

As at the time the post is published, I’ve only done 3 out of 6, and received an assignment result… a C! Which for me is… WOW.

One Year of Blogging!

12th May was my blog’s first birthday. I celebrated it with a few special posts – three to be exact.

My 1st Year of Blogging in Numbers

What I’ve Learnt during my First Year of Blogging

How I get Traffic on my Blog

I was also nominated for my first blogging award!

Sunshine Blogger Award!

Around a week ago, I was nominated for my first award by the lovely Caroline. The rules are pretty simple . . .

Thank the blogger who nominated them and link back to their blog

Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated them

Nominate 11 other blogs and give them 11 new questions to answer

Notify your nominees and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post

Here are the questions I have been asked:

Why do you blog?

I blog not only because I’ve always wanted to or because I’ve been writing since I learned how to, but most especially to spread awareness on the stigma on mental health. To enjoy life and spread peace and love, one must be in love with his inner self, and that is what I advocate for.

What is your first memory?

Wow, um… I honestly have no idea. I never really thought about it, but I think it would be when I was still in Year 6 (9-10 years of age) and it suddenly hit me that in Year 7 I’d be separated from most of my friends, especially the male ones since I was going to an all-girls school. What can I say? I was a bit of a boy magnet!

If you were a painter, what would you paint?

I would paint something that makes people feel relaxed and at peace and loved, and they get the urge to spread those positive feelings everywhere they go. If I had to choose a painting that, in my opinion, represents that to me, it would be Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh.

If you could live in any book, which would it be and why?

Many would say Harry Potter, but would you really want to live in a world where Umbridge was alive?! I think not! I’d probably live in the world of Coraline by Neil Gaiman, because it is so beautifully written. It’s a perfect example of a horror book appropriate for children.

What was your dream job when you were 5?

My earliest memory of talking about a career was when I was at a bank with my mother when I wasn’t even eight years old, and the nice lady banker asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up. I immediately replied, “A mummy.” She smiled and explained that anyone can be a mum. This was also a time where I thought babies were made when a man and a woman kissed.

After that, I think I’ve always been into jobs which required travelling: a tour leader, air hostess, museum curator, journalist, writer.

What is one thing you will never do?

Start a war. Literally, figuratively, hypothetically or metaphorically. War is never the solution to anything, but unfortunately not everyone agrees.

In an alternate reality, which country are you born/raised in?

Merseyside, Liverpool since the 1940s. I used to live in an area known as Speke, where my good friends George and Paul also lived. You might know them, they went on to became half of the very legendary band The Beatles.

If you could create a new food, what would it be and why?

A cake made entirely out of chips (fries for the Americans) and chicken and pizza. My mouth is currently watering at the thought!

What is your favorite smell/scent?

Tea and gasoline, the latter which I aware is really bad for my health, but I still love it.

What would be your superpower if you had one?

The ability to heal anyone and anything.

At some point in your life, would you like to know the future? (never, only under certain circumstances, absolutely, etc.)

Absolutely never! What if I turn out the opposite of who I am? I’d be devastated for sure! So no, I’ll live my life with lots of questions about my future, thank you very much.


My nominees are! . . .

  1. Alexandra
  2. Fiona
  3. Lyndsey
  4. Kezia
  5. Kelly
  6. Svetlana
  7. Caroline
  8. Yvonne
  9. Pavli
  10. Deborah
  11. Lara

My questions are! . . .

  1. What inspired you to blog?
  2. If you had to stick to one make-up brand for the rest of life, which would it be and why?
  3. Which is your favourite blog post?
  4. If you had to be one person – dead or alive – who would it be and what would be the first thing you did as this person?
  5. What’s your favourite place in the whole world?
  6. If you had to travel to the past in a particular decade, which would it be and why?
  7. What advice would you give to your younger self?
  8. Name three people you look up to.
  9. What is the one thing you never leave home without?
  10. What is your all-time favourite song?
  11. What advice would you give to beginner bloggers?

How I get Traffic on my Blog

As a follow-up to my recent first blogiversary, I will be talking about how I get as much traffic as possible. I know there are a LOT of ways to do so, but like the title says, I’m still a beginner AND a cheapskate (not really… but I don’t like spending a LOT of money… so am I???) and as much as SEO (Search Engine Optimizer) works, it is a Premium feature and I cannot afford that at the moment.

Facebook

The first thing I did was create a Facebook page for my blog. It took me a while to get it up and running properly, but in the end, it was all worth it. Not many people like and comment on the page since I have the sharing setting on my posts so that they automatically show up on the page, so I went a step further . . .

. . . and created a Facebook group! I was inspired by the several bloggers and fashionistas who created a group to promote their blog, and that has so far worked really well, and it gives other people an opportunity to promote their work and sell things freely. So I suggest you join now ;D

Related to my group is joining blogging groups on Facebook. I’m in probably around 20 of them – two of which are local – and it’s when I joined such groups that I started seeing some results.

Tags

Tags also play an important and crucial part in getting traffic on your blog. Say someone is looking for a post about the meaning of life. What tags would you use? I’d probably go for the obvious ‘meaning of life’ ‘search for happiness’ and ‘philosophy’ to name a few. I’m still awful at tags, but slowly learning.

Links

Did you notice something I’ve been doing throughout my posts, where I link to related posts/websites? That’s another thing that helps not only other websites to get recognition, but also you. Why? Because they’d be so thankful that they would consider promoting YOU in return! Just think about it 😉

Other websites that help

I’ve started using Linkedin a couple of months ago when I wanted a page that’s more business-y. I use it to promote my blog, my collaborations and things related to my work, and made some really cool friends from there (if you’re Kelly, I mean you!).

Two other sites you can use to promote your latest posts are Blogarama and, the best one yet, Livinvia, so I will be talking about the latter into detail. I found out about Livinvia from one of the many FB groups that I joined, and decided to give it a go. It is divided into categories, such as Health, Tips, Technology, Fashion and much more . . . and it is completely FREE!

Content

I couldn’t elaborate more than this, so here are the best content tips for traffic:

 

  • Leave thoughtful comments on other people’s blogs with hope of getting recognition on your blog AND connect with other bloggers
  • Write shorter posts, something which I am quite good at since my posts usually do not exceed the 600-word mark
  • Blog consistently
  • Organize your posts with lists and subheads
  • Write stuff people will want to link to
  • Ask questions
  • Be funny, clever, remarkable . . so, not me!
  • Do some public speaking (Remember the one I did
  • Write attractive headlines, so maybe quotes could be good
  • Deliver killer content
  • Guest post on someone else’s blog
  • Tell stories

Have you used any of these? How did they work out for you? Any tips you use for traffic which I have not mentioned above? Let me know in the comments below! Let’s connect!

Study Routine

Between late April and late June, many of my friends and students will be doing their exams. Some exams are easy, some require more thinking and preparation leading up to the exam. But do not fret, my dear readers, because the genus of studying (not) is coming to your rescue! Please note that while I’m writing this, I’m actually supposed to study for my own exams… so, yeah. Read more if you’re clueless on studying like I was, and want to learn to make your work easier, more colourful/creative and efficient for you.

Continue reading “Study Routine”