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It seems like just a few months ago I was finally making progress with my blogging writers block and then suddenly it's 2017 !! 

At the stroke of midnight, as we toasted to champagne - my friends and I went about sharing our resolutions / ambitions for the year.  We determined that everyone is out to make more money and wants to travel more than they already.  Keeping those two points aside - what is it that we all want to achieve for the coming year. 

I came out with the below aims : Focus on expanding my business (in the bespoke travel sector) and to Start Writing Again !  Having said that I realized that somewhere in the back of my mind - that I have been drawn towards writing / blogging but something always comes up.  It could be that at times I'm not in the frame of mind to pen my thoughts; sometimes my thoughts are zooming around at over a 100 miles per hour and I can barely keep up with them .. and at other times I get this sense of 'heaviness' that ends up in an emotional block.  To be fair to myself, I have been working on my Company blog over the last year

Whilst recovering from my NYE party (it wound up at 7 a.m !) - it struck me that if I don't do at least 'try' to start writing - I will keep putting it off until there's no coming back to it (okay maybe that's harsh but I will try to not let it get to that point).

I have always found the Ultimate Blog Challenge inspiring and that's what got me into blogging more regularly.  At last count - I have 794 posts spread over  6 years (2014 & 2015 were not my best blogging years where I barely churned out 20 posts over the whole year).   My last attempt at the Challenge wasn't all there; but I'm going to give it another shot.  So here I am .. hoping that my fellow bloggers and blog readers will be there to encourage my foray back into the blogger world.

Happy 2017 Folks !! Hope you have a fantastic year ahead ! 

I realise that this might be a tad deep when you sit back and think about it - but really makes sense.  

A large majority of people fall into a herd mentality and end up doing what everyone around them is doing.  This is probably because our entire lives have been laid out for us : attend school, go to university, get a degree in order to get a good job so as to support yourself.  If that's not enough - find a partner, have a family, support the family by continuing to work hard until retirement when you can finally enjoy your life.  Heard this before right ? 

There's nothing wrong with structure but have you taken a minute to think about whether that preset path is the path for you ?  Did you give up on an entrepreneurial move or a risky career change due to fear of the unknown / uncertainty of it all ? Is there something you feel you could have done different when you look back at the past few years ?  Are you doing what you love ? 

Ever since a young age - I realized that I'm ready to go down the road less travelled.  At 9 or 10 years old I told my parents I wanted to own a night club.  Imagine that !! When it was time for me to go to university - I ended up moving halfway across the world from Dubai to Montreal.  That's a flight time of about 18 hours including layover.  My Dad wanted me to be a banker - a good stable career.  I pursued it for all of 9 months after graduation and  left to set-up my own company managing & marketing night clubs in London.  My entire family including extended members flipped out and told me how irrational I was behaving; that I shouldn't leave a good career which growth opportunities for something that wasn't stable.  I moved out of the family house, got my own apartment and followed my passion - the world of events & nightlife.  Then about 6 years later my clients were asking me to plan private events for them and within a year of that I moved across oceans (again) to Bombay to set up my next venture in Events & Wedding Planning. 

I currently run a boutique company called A Klass Apart which focuses on events & wedding planning.  I get to work with clients and event spaces around the world.  I now take 'summer holidays' (like we did back in school) for 3-4 months a year for the last few years.  I work with select clients (mainly on a word of mouth basis) - if we 'click' we work together; if not - I rather not take the stress.   I have a portable office (my trusted laptop & hard drive) which means I can work from anywhere in the world as opposed to being in one place all the time. 

Of course it's not all a bed of roses.  I've had financial ups & downs.  I've learned a few things the hard way.  My friends are never free when I am (i.e. during the day).  The industry I'm in means that public holidays, festive seasons and weekends are generally when I am the busiest so can't really enjoy this with friends / family.  But I knew all of this when I chose to take this path and the things I didn't know I got to know over the years.  

I may not own a nightclub as yet but I know eventually I'll get there.  It's still on my mind.  Maybe if I was a stockbroker like some of my cousins - I would already have it but I doubt the journey would be as much fun as what I'm currently experiencing. 

I came across a great article 'Creating Your Own Life Path' which I resonated with and think you will enjoy as well.  

What path did you choose - the road well travelled or the road less travelled ? Are you happy with your choice ? Is there a path that you wish you had taken or think you could still take (even if it for a short walk) ?     

Come on !! Who doesn't get a happy feeling knowing that there's some extra cash sitting in the bank account ?  Instead of spending that rolled up tenner that you found in your jeans pocket - just put it away.  

At the start of the year I randomly decided to just collecting all the coins / spare change that I would find around my room, in my various hand bags or even in my car ... at the end of the month there was the equivalent of £20 that I had lying around ... think about it £20 x 12 months = £240 that's enough for a big night out or a weekend away. 

I started saving properly when I hit 30.  I should have done it earlier but I was busy enjoying life and the financial independence that I had spent my entire 20's working for.   I'm 33 and have a good chunk sitting in the bank.  I may not be able to buy a house yet but I've got my down payment ready ! 

When did you start saving ? Are you regular saver ? Do you have any saving tips that you could suggest ? 

Nothing quite beats the feeling of financial independence ! I started my first business at 21 and my second at 28.  I may not be able to afford to buy a house right now or even get a mortgage as I'm self-employed but just knowing that I earn enough to support myself, and indulge my passions (whether it be travel or learning something new or taking the 'summer' off work) is quite a feeling in itself.  

Do you remember what it felt like when you got your first pay cheque ? That euphoric feeling and sense of accomplishment ? How did it feel knowing that you are no longer dependent on your folks now that you're earning on your own ? 

Just remember that if you have the ability to work and earn right now - no matter what the income is - be grateful that you can do that because there are people out there who are unable to meet their basic requirements.  

Sometimes you just have to confront your past and lay out ground rules so that it doesn't suddenly pop up and send your present helter-skelter. 

As hard as it may be to - don't look back at your past.  If something isn't working out for you - regardless of the situation i.e. work / personal life / education etc chalk out your options / alternatives and strive forward.  Once you've made that choice - don't dwell on the past.  This is when applying the 3 C's of Life will help you : make a choice to take a chance to change your life ! 

Once you have truly accepted that the past should remain in the past - you'll be able to see what the future has in store for you.  Life is too short to stress yourself.   I've made peace with my past - have you ? 

How aware are you of who YOU really are ? Are you aware of the positive & negative qualities that you possess and the qualities that people think you have ? How 'accepting' are you

I came to the conclusion almost 2 decades ago when I was still in school that I'm different from my peers.  I didn't fall into the flock although I definitely had many 'flocks' of friends.  I'm an all-round person.  I can pretty much adapt to any situation I'm put in.  I'm very comfortable in my own skin.  I don't give a f*ck what people think about me (not in a bad way) but because unless you can tell me to my face - your opinion holds no value to me).

I have good days and bad days like everyone else.  I love my business and it drives me.  I work hard to party even harder.  There are days I wish my sweet tooth wasn't so bad and in turn that would result in me dropping at least 10 kgs but I do love dessert way too much to really give it up.  I love my friends fiercely.  

Do you accept and enjoy yourself for who you are ? 

Doesn't seeing this image leave you with a warm fuzzy feeling ? We often take our parents for granted and oversee the sacrifices they have made to ensure that their children are comfortable.  

'Unconditional' - it appears to be the only apt word to describe the love a parent has for their child.  As my Mum puts it - she loves all her children even the ones who give her grief (clearly that's not me). 

I've taken to spending the mornings chatting with my Mum - getting to know what her plans are or what she thought of the last movie that she saw.  I realise now as I write this post that I 'spoke' to my Mum almost every day whilst I was travelling for the summer (and that's something I've never done in all my years of travelling)..  

I reckon she deserves a vacation ! Hopefully I can take her somewhere she wants to visit in 2016.  

Don't forget to drop your folks a quick hello by email / text / phone call or give them a hug if you happen to live at home or if you are in their neighbourhood. 
With the Ultimate Blog Challenge just around the corner - I have more or less decided on a theme for my blog posts.  Have you heard or come across '' or perhaps you know them better for the cute cartoon 'Happiness Is ...' images that are floating around the internet ?  

I'm going to use illustrations from to help me get my blog on as it's been over a year since I've written on a consistent basis (although in my defence there are quite a few partial drafts sitting in my dashboard).  

Ever since my Dad passed, it hit me hard in the face that life is unpredictable.  I've always known this but it 'sunk in'.  I've made it a point to try to enjoy / do more of anything & everything that makes 'Me' feel good.

I've started collecting illustrations that I feel an instant connect with and hopefully I'll get a few blog posts ready before the challenge actually starts ! So there you have it, my blog theme for the UBC is based around 'Things That Make Me Happy'

I hope you enjoy these posts and if you find yourself relating to any of them - I would love to hear from you in the comments.  If you're participating in the UBC then do let me know so that I can visit your blog as well.  Are you following a theme for your blog posts ? If you use Twitter then drop me a tweet on @dazediva 
I came across this stunning picture on the Dragon Writing Prompts blog and there was an instant connection to it.  I think it's perfect for #WordlessWednesday ! 

I love the way the yellow stands out against the grey starkness of the picture. There's so much detail.  I can almost feel the fog shifting across the trees.  The branches eerily calling you towards them - almost enticing you to walk down the yellow brick road.  Something must lurk beyond the fallen tree trunk - why else would there be an obstacle on such a pretty path. 

What do you think of when you see this picture ? Would you go down the path to see where it takes you ? 

I came across the below blogging prompt from The Daily Post free E-Book : 365 Writing Prompts last week.   

If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill - no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation - would you do it ? 

Damn right I would !! I'm well aware that a 'nutrition pill' or a 'food pill' can't ever really substitute real food - however, given the fact that I'm not really a foodie - such a pill would make my life easier ! 

I love desserts ! I have a baaaaaad sweet tooth.  I'm one of those people who would happily skip all meals and replace them with something sweet.  Therefore an all-in-one nutrition pill would be quite ideal for me to ensure that I get my 5-a-day.  Mind you, I'm quite sure that I would still eat things such as fruits, cereal / muesli, smoothies, other liquids (coconut water, lemonade, a yogurt based drink known as 'lassi') and of course actual chocolates / desserts. 

There is no substitute for dessert in my eyes.  I'm suddenly craving a small bowl of nutella and crunchy peanut butter along with an apple ! [I'm making it a healthy-ish dessert] 

At the end of the day, I'm the kind of person who enjoys going out to eat (hint - I don't have to cook) and at the same time I enjoy cooking for a group of friends for a brunch / dinner party.  I never really make an effort when it comes to 'food' when I'm looking to grab a bite on my own.  Give me fruit yogurts and I could eat them all through the day. 

What about you ? Would you take the pill substitute and forsake the prep time required in making a full meal ? Think of all the time that could be saved that is spent cooking (yes, I know I'm making it sound like a task).  I know it doesn't take long to actually cook if you plan your meals out or have a stocked fridge (neither of which is applicable to me haha).  

Pop on over to The Daily Post to read more about what other bloggers have to say about the Red Pill, Blue Pill 

Red Pill, Blue Pill

Apparently my roots are Greek ;)  What about yours ? 

Happy Wordless Wednesday folks ! Don't forget to share your linky below ! 

As you may be aware, the Ultimate Blog Challenge is back in October 2015 and yours truly is taking part in it to get out of my blogging rut ! 

My very first UBC was in Jan ’12 where I just blogged about random topics every day – and it did get hard towards the end of it.  Then I went ahead and with a general theme 'Think About It' wherein I wrote about quotes / images that connected to me.  I've also written about the 'A to Z of Blogging' and 'A to Z of Sex' for the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  

Given the above actually helped me focus my blogging in a particular direction - I'm wondering whether or not to go with a theme for this years' challenge ? I'm more than likely to do it - but then it's the topic that I need to think about. 

Seeing that I'm in need of inspiration - it would mean a lot if you could suggest a theme or post topics that you would like to read about.  
There are people who are bummed out by Mondays - I'm NOT one of them.  Then again, I like to call Mondays my unofficial day off since I run my own business and majority of my work is Wednesday to Sunday.

I've had this track on my playlist for a few weeks now and reckon it's the perfect peppy track to start the week off with. 

I generally like most of Pitbulls' music even though some of it could come across as repetitive.  What do you think of his music ? Have you heard this track before ? 

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. Rules are simple. Leave ONLY the ACTUAL LINK POST here and grab the code below and place it at your blog entry. You can grab this code at LadyJava’s Lounge Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

PS: Because of spamming purposes, the linky will be closed on Thursday of each week at midnight, Malaysian Time. Thank you!

I came across a prompt from The Daily Post free E-Book : 365 Writing Prompts whilst on the hunt for some blogging inspiration.  I'm going to combine this prompt with another one (which says to set yourself a time goal of 10 minutes and answer the question).  So here's the prompt and my response : 

Do you feel like you "get" social media, or do you just use it because that's where all your friends and family are ? 

I DO get social media.  Sure I have friends and family on it - using various types of social media but I'm there for my business and myself.  I truly believe that one can build themselves as a brand if social media is applied in the right way.  

Over the past month - I decided to upgrade my educational skills.  I have a B.Comm in Management & E-Commerce but it's been a while since I have studied anything.  It came as no surprise to me when I found myself signing up for a Diploma in Social Media Marketing & Online Reputation Management.  It's an accredited course from a reputed educational academy.  I enjoyed it so much that I signed up for the Advance Digital Marketing Diploma as well. 

Before I even began to develop the social media platforms for my business - I had already been (in a way) building my personal brand up.  It all started with a few blogs and then there was Twitter - and all of a sudden I found myself being asked to blog for other amazing blogs who actually wanted my perspective on topics.  I managed this without really putting too much thought into it - I was going with the flow and learning the ropes myself.  

Now when it comes down to my business - I want to grow my brand using all the available channels that social media has to offer.  Let's face it - the power of social media goes a long way  !  I guess that's why I took the course and why I still want to learn more.  Social media is constantly evolving - probably too rapidly for most of us to understand .. but the way I see it - there's no harm trying to keep as up-to-date as we can. 

If you want to know more about social media for business then I would recommend reading 'Will Social Media Take You On A Magic Carpet Ride (To Success' and How Social Media Can Help You Get Ahead
I've been on the look out for some blogging inspiration - especially now that I've decided to sign up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge .  The last few days have been spent doing general research on the past challenges that I've participated in to get an idea of what kind of themes or topics other participants were blogging about.  The challenge sends out blogging topics each day as well to keep the participants inspired. 

Then, the other night I came across The Daily Post blog site which has a Daily Prompts section.  It's quite cool as there is a 'daily' prompt (as the name suggests).  The prompt is a word or up to 3 words from what I've noticed topped up with a question / statement that you can put your own response to in case you don't want to think of a topic solely based on the prompt word(s).  The site also allows you to pingback to their posts and enables your post to be visible to all the participating bloggers. 

Quite a few of the prompts have caught my attention and I'm hoping to get cracking on them at the earliest.  I may have to back-date some of them to go in accordance with the Prompt schedule or maybe it won't matter at all.  I'll figure that bit out.  I'm a bit of a stickler for order. 

I also came across A Prompt A Day which has only just started in June and as the name suggests - the host puts up prompts ranging from a word, an image, a quote.  There are about 80 prompts so far. 

Another interesting site is The One Minute Writer - wherein there's a daily prompt but you have 60 seconds to jot your thoughts down in the form of a comment.  Of course you can take this a step further and expand on your own blog.  I know I would do that.  

So there you go - in case you are in need of some writing inspiration, I'd definitely recommend heading on over to any of these blog sites and see what it is that inspires you to write.  

p.s Don't forget to share your blog link in the comments so that I can visit your page.