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1. I was a competitive golfer who used to represent my state. Bet you wouldn’t believe it if you met me in person!

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Around the time I was 12, my dad decided to teach both me and my mum to golf and after the both of us passed our handicap test, golfing was a daily family affair. We’d head over to the course around 5pm and manage to play around 5 or 6 holes before sunset. Looking back, those were wonderful family moments. I’ll always remember those times.

2. I have the same name as a very famous luxury car brand. Guess which one? Answer below. I discovered this interesting fact when I went to Germany (here’s your hint). Riddle aside, Germany is one place I want to go again because it is simply beautiful. I only managed to visit 2 places when I was there and it’s definitely on my to-visit list when the kids are older!

3. If you asked me to choose between reading and a movie, I’d take reading anytime.

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Those of you who already follow my blog might know that I actually grew up without TV. Perhaps that’s why when asked to choose now, reading always trumps watching. I shall confess that I’m thoroughly addicted to reading. I get grouchy if I don’t get to read after a prolonged period, which is probably why Hubs decided to get me books for my birthday this year, especially since I had to spend it in confinement as Baby Junior was born then! #totalgeek

4. When I was 9, my classmate wrote that her ambition was to be a housewife. I couldn’t believe her lack of ambition. I asked her repeatedly, “Why do you want to be a housewife? You can write anything else!” She replied, “I don’t know what I’d like to be and what’s wrong with being a housewife anyway?” Now I’m a housewife and she’s a career woman. #eatingmywords

5. I have a dog named Truffle, whom Hubs and I got when we were living overseas.

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While she isn’t my first pet, she is my first dog and I was really gung ho when we first got her. I did a lot of reading up on dog training and every day after work, I would rush home to train her to potty and do doggy tricks. One of my proudest achievements is training her to potty in the toilet. Regardless of whose house she’s in, she knows how to find the toilet and potty there. #ikidyounot

 

Answer to Fact 2: Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes is a Spanish name which means Grace.

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For more about me, please visit:

Website: http://graciouslittlethings.tumblr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/graciouslittlethings

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/graciouslittlethings

Samantha Tew
Nuffnang Community Team

I’d love to share five blogging tips but who am I to do that? I’m no expert. I don’t follow guidelines or a format and believe me, no blogger really does. You create your own format! You probably have one you don’t even realise. Do I have one? Who knows?

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I’m not going to sit here on my bed and type on and on about what you must do to be a good blogger because first and foremost, you’ll never win everyone’s heart so don’t try to go that direction. Some like witty bloggers, some like serious ones. Some want blogs with lots of pictures, some don’t want any at all. So, I’ll share with you what I think you’ll have to know when you want to blog.

What you have to first do is..

1. Be yourself and do it for yourself

Cliche? Cliche is cliche for a reason. It works. Don’t copy others, be original. Believe me, I would love to know what you did last week for your mother’s birthday. Others? Maybe they’ll not. But, oh well. Don’t blog about how to make Homemade Chicken Pie if you really don’t enjoy doing it. Do what you like, and you’ll do wonders!

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2. Make sure you’re blogging for the fun of it more than anything else

Having a blog is an amazing way to earn some income but that shouldn’t be your aim. If it is, it’ll feel like chores to you so don’t suck the fun out of it!

3. Be brave!

Speak your mind, but decently. Don’t hurt anyone with your words and be very careful. People can respect your point of view if you don’t bash others online. That’ll just be rude. Also, if you don’t actually have a blog but you really want to, do it! The comments and messages you get will make all your time spent blogging worthwhile.

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4. Don’t share too much

Please, don’t give personal details. I think this is quite self-explanatory.

5. Your stories last forever

Your name will forever be on the internet. Your stories will always be there. Anytime you want to read about what happened on your graduation day or your trip to Paris, just search for it on your blog, and you’ll get to read about it and look at the pictures taken there. Almost like an e-book about yourself by yourself. Even your family members and future generations can read stories about you. Just imagine your great grandchildren reading and feeling such strong connections to you.

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That’s all from me. Just have fun while you do it too. No rules otherwise, remember that!

Cheers,

Athisha Khan

Samantha Tew
Nuffnang Community Team

Grammar, ladies and gentlemen.

Nothing is sexier than an articulate mind. Don’t let it be ruined by incorrect passages or usage of the English vocabulary. When blogging in the second or third tongue, practice makes perfect.

Reem Shahwa - 5 Tips 1

 

Content

The person you are usually reflects in your writing. How your content is angled, your reaction to it, will be precedent to the readers, much less to yourself. Pick a presentation style that best fits you and go with it. Which brings me to the third point;

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Organised mind

Have a flow. Stay in context. The mind is mysterious, yes. Train your mind to write precise and to the point. There isn’t much sense in writing a million words to arrive at just one point. Write with a purpose.

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Know your audience

Keep it interesting. There is person at the other end of every posting. If writing is to be read, then give the reader a little something back. Leave your readers with a sense of satisfaction and more importantly, conclusion.

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Consistency

The applications of blogging have somewhat expanded over time. But the core of it has always remained the same. Blogging is story-telling. May not necessarily detail every thought or feeling. May not even be perpetrated truthfully every time (some stories you keep to yourself). But if you leave gaps, your story will never come full circle. So keep writing. Be the inspiration you want to see in the world.

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-R

 

Want to know more about our favourite girl next door? Check out Reem’s Featured Blogger Of The Month write-up and her blog

Jack Saw
Nuffnang Community Team

1. Saya anak bongsu dari 4 beradik. Perempuan kesemuanya dan kesemua adik-beradik saya bermula dengan nama ‘Su’. Mereka ialah Suzalina, Suhani, Suhaida dan saya sendiri, Suraya. Ayah saya berketurunan Jawa dan ibu saya berketurunan Bugis. Saya mempunyai darah keturunan Cina disebelah ayah, sebab itu mata saya sepet. Ibu dan Bapa saya berasal dari Johor, kemudian mereka berpindah ke Pahang. Tapi kalau orang tanya saya berasal dari mana, saya akan cakap saya orang Johor! Sekarang saya bekerja di Kuala Lumpur di sebuah syarikat Badan Berkanun sebagai Setiausaha dan tinggal di Ampang. Kakak ke-3 saya meninggal dalam satu kemalangan jalan raya pada tahun 1990, 2 hari selepas majlis perkahwinan beliau.

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Bersama kakak sulung yang jelas mewarisi ‘darah’ cina daripada Arwah Ayah.

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Bersama ibu, adik-beradik dan sepupu semasa Majlis Perkahwinan anak saudara sulung di Dewan Perdana FELDA

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Gambar kenangan semasa kecil bersama Arwah Ayah, Emak dan adik beradik. Sayalah yang paling kecil dalam gambar ini. Kelihatan didalam gambar ialah kakak sulong (duduk atas tangga paling atas), sepupu lelaki. Turut kelihatan Emak, Ayah, kakak kedua dan kakak ketiga. Gambar di ambil di kampung emak di Kampung Kuala Paya, Segamat Johor pada tahun 1982

2. Berkahwin pada Jun 2009 dan hanya mengandung selepas hampir 3 tahun menunggu. Berjaya hamil selepas berjumpa dengan Doktor Pakar dan melalui process ‘fertility assessment’. Mendapat ‘morning sickness’ yang sangat teruk sepanjang kehamilan. Anak saya Mohamad Shein Iskandar lahir pada 12/12/12 di Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre Kuala Lumpur. Cantik kan tarikh lahir anak saya? Semuanya secara kebetulan kerana saya boleh memilih tarikh untuk melahirkan anak saya kerana saya bersalin dengan kaedah caesarian. Saya menghadapi masalah ‘Placenta Previa Stage 2’. Anda boleh membaca pengalaman saya dibilik bedah disini. Satu pengalaman yang tidak mungkin akan saya lupakan sampai bila-bila.

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Setengah jam selepas melahirkan Mohamad Shein Iskandar melalui kaedah cesarean.

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Sempat menghadiri Majlis Perkahwinan salah seorang sahabat di Sime Darby Convention Center 5 hari sebelum melahirkan anak.

3. Saya suka bersukan. Saya pernah mewakili Syarikat untuk FELDA Futsal FAM peringkat Kebangsaan pada tahun 2009. Walaupun kalah dipusingan awal, tetapi pengalaman bermain futsal di peringkat kebangsaan tidak dapat saya lupakan. Selain dari Futsal, saya juga boleh bermain Bola Jaring, Bola Tampar, Badminton, Bola Sepak Wanita dan menyertai Marathon. Selain itu juga saya suka melakukan activity outdoor seperti paintball. Jika mempunyai peluang, saya teringin melakukan ‘bungee jumping’. Selain daripada itu, saya juga berkebolehan untuk menari tarian traditional dan sering melakukan persembahan setiap kali Majlis Makan Malam Syarikat.

Sessi rehearsal untuk Tari Tualang Tiga

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Bersama rakan pejabat untuk persembahan tarian.

4. Saya suka memasak. Saya belakar memasak dari emak dan kakak sulong saya. Saya boleh masak masakan Melayu dan Western. Peminat nombor satu masakan saya semestinya suami saya! Anda boleh membaca entry masakan saya disini.

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Memasak ‘Sambal Tahun’ sejenis masakan Orang Jawa. Resepi dah cara memasak disini.

5. Saya pernah disahkan mempunya masalah Mild OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) selepas saya melahirkan anak saya. OCD banyak mempengaruhi kehidupan saya sehingga menjejaskan kesihatan saya. Tetapi selepas mendapat rawatan daripada doktor di Hospital, saya sekarang sudah bebas dari masalah Mild OCD dan menjalani hidup dengan lebih berkualiti, gembira dan sihat.

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Samantha Tew
Nuffnang Community Team

FIVE FACTS ABOUT STYLEBYSYA

  1. I’m a nomad. My dad is from Johor. My mum is from Negeri Sembilan. I was born in Kelantan. At two years old, my whole family lived in Liverpool where we were neighbours to Wayne Rooney. At six, we moved to Ipoh. Currently, as I am studying in KL, I live with my husband here. So if you ask me “Asal mana?” I swear I don’t know the answer. Although, I’m comfortable being called an Ipoh girl having spent majority of my lifetime there. 123
  2. I’m a high achiever. Compared to my family, I’m the worst student. I do not enjoy the stress of exams or the confinement of the classroom. However, I have managed to score straight A’s for all major exams: UPSR, PMR, SPM. Currently, I am an intern under 1MDB-Yayasan Sime Darby ‘Work Grant’ Program which has a 4 year contract. My position is the Personal Assistant to the Head of Research, Postgraduate, Kuliyyah of Engineering. I am also on full-scholarship for law school. Did I mention I’m also a debater?
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  3. I have been wearing the hijab fully for as long as I have been a hijab blogger. Before 2014, I’ve been wearing the hijab on and off since primary school.567
  4. I love the arts. I’m a grade 6 pianist and a certified traditional dancer. I was cheerleading back in my all-girl school. I’ve directed plays back in school. I also directed the Mocktrial ‘3 Kalam’ back in Centre for Foundation Studies, IIUM. Currently, I am with The Classroom Project, a minimalist theatre production in IIUM although I have stopped performing arts.678
  5. I am adventurous and I love sports. In cheerleading, I was the flyer. I am also an avid futsal player. Everytime there’s a tournament in college, I would be first in line to sign up. People didn’t think I could play because I look ‘girly’. But in the court, I have a totally different persona. I love skiing although it cannot be done here. The thrill and the adrenaline rush is something I crave for. Having toned muscles like the Victoria’s Secret angels is a plus!789 890

 Remember to head over to www.stylebysya.com for more interesting fashion posts and stuff about me!

Till then

 

 

Denise Lee
Nuffnang Community Team

Tip #1: Be Yourself

I asked myself that as a blog reader, why do I like reading some blogs more than the others? What is it that makes my favourite bloggers well, my favourite?

XiaXue, Fourfeetnine and Cheeserland are my favourite bloggers, and they all have one thing in common- they let their personalities shine through in their blogs. As a blog reader, I want to read about my favourite blogger’s lives and get to know who they are. It doesn’t matter if they’re nice or nasty, showing their personalities on their posts breathe life into their blogs, and nobody likes to read a dull blog that says nothing about the bloggers themselves.

Translate everything that you are into your blog design, blog header, your ‘About Me’ column, and most importantly your blog entries. First impression is very important. Make it in such a way that the moment a reader visits your blog, they get a rough idea of what your blog is about and who you really are. What keeps a reader coming back for more is the desire to want to follow up on what’s new in a blogger’s life, be it new experiences that they share, new products that they’re recommending or new restaurants that they have reviewed. Give your readers something to look forward to, by first being yourself and letting them get to know the real you.

Tip #2: Quality Content

Now, this may be a little subjective. What is deemed as quality content to one may not be the same for another. To me, quality content is one with substance, one that is worth spending my time reading. One that interests me and adds value to my life, one that is crafted with thoughts and effort.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long blog entry. It could even be just a short ranting post, and if it is written in a sincere, personal way, I would enjoy reading it anyway. Blog about what you love, blog about what you go through, blog about your life.

For me, at this juncture of my life, I’m always blogging about my marriage, vacations and food! They’re everything I’m passionate about. And when I blog about the things I love, my readers love it too, so it’s a win-win situation!

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I guess the bottom line is, quality contents are written from the heart and with effort. A reader can tell a half-hearted blog post from a genuine one, so focus on your content because that’s what’s going to gain you a new loyal blog reader, or lose your existing ones.

Tip #3: Quality Images

Let’s face it. We live in a world of superficiality. As much as quality content is important, so are quality images! In the age of Instagram today, people are becoming increasingly particular about what they see and who they follow. Put up low quality, badly taken images on Instagram, and you’ll stand a chance of being unfollowed immediately. It’s very real. Sad, but it’s the truth.

People want to see high res images that are taken nicely, which includes your lighting, framing, composition and basically the story that your photos tell.

Here’s when it’s necessary to do some homework. I never used to be one who knows how to take photos. My sister who’s 2 years younger than me belongs to the young Instagrammers group who happen to take really awesome shots and have the skills to edit them beautifully. She and her friends may not be bloggers nor social media influencers, but they have thousands of followers and high engagements on their posts simply because they put up quality images on their Instagram accounts! She always recommends me to follow her favourite Instagrammers from all over the world who take great, creative shots, and I learned from there.

Here are some of the shots from my Instagram account- @careentxy.

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The shots and “organised messes” were carefully arranged and planned, and the ice-cream shot was perfected after adjusting the angles and focus again, and again, and again. It’s hard work, but the results are worth it in the end.

It’s also important to invest in good cameras. I’ve been using Sony RX100 for the past two years, and I must say that it has served me super well! It is compact in size, lightweight and easy to carry around for events and casual brunch dates! Most of my photos on Instagram are taken using the Sony RX100 or Sony Alpha 5000.

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Find a good camera that suits your style, and invest in it! Everyone loves to see beautiful pictures! Quality images change the look of your blog instantly and makes it so much more attractive.

Tip #4: Be Consistent

This is something that most bloggers struggle with. When we have the blogging mojo on, we feel like blogging 5 posts in a row! But when we have the writer’s block, we stare at the ‘Create Post’ page for hours and still nothing fruitful comes out of it. Bingo? I know because I’m a blogger who struggles with this too.

It’s hard to be consistently churning out quality posts every other day, especially when tiredness and busyness kicks in, and you feel totally uninspired. This is when we, as bloggers gotta inspire ourselves. When I feel uninspired and uncreative, I take a break from blogging and go blog-hopping. I’ll read my favourite blogs and somehow after a while, I will regain my motivation and inspiration to blog again. Another way to inspire yourself is to remember that you have a bunch of readers visiting your blog every single day, and you wouldn’t want to disappoint them. Thinking of their relentless support helps me to pick myself up and keep on blogging.

Tip #5: Be Honest

This point is an extension to Tip #1. Be yourself, be true to yourself, be honest about yourself. Don’t lie just to put up interesting content on your blog. This could be about your own life, or about your sponsored products.

As a blog reader, I have no problem when my favourite blogger puts up sponsored posts/advertorials. In fact, I must say I do enjoy well-written, honest advertorials, and I follow bloggers to know what is new in the market! The key here is honesty. As bloggers, we’re public figures and social media influencers. With influence, comes responsibility. Our readers trust our tastes and preferences when it comes to the products we choose to advertise/promote on our blogs and social media. And because they trust us, they are willing to spend their money on the product with hopes that they too, can achieve the same results that we claim to bring in our advertorials.

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La Senza, a brand I personally love.

Here’s when our credibility is on the line. What if it’s a product that truly does not work, or worse, brings about a negative effect after you tried it? For me, I would not shout about it if it does not work. And if it actually brings about a negative result for me, I would rather refund the payment to my client than to blatantly lie to my readers.

In my case, I’m public about my love for a certain smartphone brand. I’ve been approached multiple times to promote a competitor smartphone brand in the market which I do not believe in, and because I don’t want to lie and lose my credibility, I never accepted the campaigns. I would rather lose the amount of money than to lose my credibility. And trust me, blog readers appreciate honesty more than anything. I know because I’m an avid blog reader myself.

One way to know what a reader would like is to place ourselves in the shoes of a blog reader. It’s important to know what pleases our readers, because they’re the reason why we grow as bloggers and how we’re making money out of our blogs in the first place :)

That’s all from me! Do comment if you have any blogging tips that you’d like to share too!

xx

Denise Lee
Nuffnang Community Team

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