Before April hits the calendar, there is major excitement in my life as I gear up for the #AtoZchallenge which is a month-long writing fest. I did this challenge for the first time last year and since then, have been hooked to it. So planning began a little early (it has to) but towards the flag end, I was lagging, out of breath and was finally glad when it got over.
Now you maybe wondering why am I mentioning it here in my Gratitude post if it was so painful for me?
Because it wasnt painful painful; or rather this is the pain one enjoys as it comes from a lot of hard work. Kind of like when you push yourself in the gym a little more and then feel all that better for having done that 😉
** I had skipped out on doing a March gratitude post due to the challenge and will be including my blessings from there too in this post. **
Thankful to all my April readers
So this April, my blog recorded 3000 + hits and more than 500 comments which I am still in the midst of replying back to 😉 I had such loving encouragement from my fellow bloggers who took time out to respond to my posts and share them on social media too. A huge thanks to all of them and I honestly tried to visit everyone who visited me too. Apologies to peeps if I still missed out on anyone. ♥
Though Book Reviews is one of my blog niche, I hadn’t really flexed my muscles in this department till I chose it as a theme for the challenge. Wary and hesitant of my reviewing skills, I was bowled over by how many people bookmarked my choices for their future TBR lists. It seems I didn’t do too badly and must continue it as some readers remarked that they will “miss” reading these reviews, post april. ♥
My birthday falls on the last day of March and this year, like many before, it was one of the best days of my life. Phone calls, messages, FB wishes kept rolling in from all over the world. Do you have any idea how it feels to get a call from someone you don’t meet or interact with at all in the entire year, but calls you on your birthday? I feel special and blessed for having these warm souls in my life who think so much of me ♥
I was indulged in a drive to India Gate at night to have ice-cream while walking up and down Rajpath- a very fond memory of mine from my initial days in New Delhi. Re-living it was a bliss and thanks to my awesome sisterhood ♥ – gaon ki choriyan rock people!!! 😉
Then there is this one special twitter friend who has been sending me huge goodie bags since last year for my birthday and did so this year too. Bless her and bless the Universe for gifting me such a friend. Much love Pallavism ♥
Special mention to all my blogger friends too who went out-of-the-way to wish me all over social media and send me WA wishes too – thank you!! ♥
April started with my dad winding up in the hospital, again! Two years back he had major health scares which saw us camped in a hospital for weeks and then stringent home care for six months. This time around too, we spent weeks in hospital due to a bad inflammation of one of his knees. After being sent home, he has been staying with me and my day is tied around the clock for his needs. So that does leave very little personal time and space and some days drives me plain crazy too.
Thankful bit is that there is nothing serious; recovery will take time because of his age, lifestyle and other health issues.
Grateful bit is the heartfelt messages I have been getting from everyone around me – Thank you ♥
I had been hearing stuff about fitness through building core muscle strength and why women should undertake it. It impressed me so much that I made a birthday pact with myself and joined this new gym in town which only focuses on body strength and core training workouts. Its been six weeks, and I am simply loving my Yoga sessions there. I aim to attend 4-5 sessions a week and happy to report that I am doing it 🙂
Though I have many miles to go before I hit “that” fitness quotient, I am grateful to note that I am at it!! ♥
Dent in the TBR
Hospital vigils meant that I could catch up on my reading spree which had dropped to zero post January. I got a tonne of books as birthday gifts and since then been plugging away at it. Isnt it great to have friends who buy you gifts from your wish list – sigh!!!!!! ♥
Ofcourse with the newly found love for book reviews, I shall add a month end post on my reads with a short synopsis of each or maybe do full length reviews – mmmmmm! Ok need to mull over this a bit.
Saree Swag 2018
I have made a Saree wearing pact of sorts with myself as a new year’s resolution and am happy to report its going super strong with only a blimp in April. But that shall be rectified soonest! ♥
My feeble attempts at a balcony garden to grow herbs and some veggies did bear some fruits; summer heat is scorching the plants now. Giving it a rest for next two months to begin anew in the rainy season. ♥
Made a yummy pasta sauce with these goodies; done it twice already and new harvest is also ready 🙂
March was fabulous for meeting up with cousins after ages at a family do. Then a blogger friend from UK was down here; we have never met but our online interactions have been very warm. It was such a delight to finally meetup and gossip our hearts away over some yummy food at Big Chill. ♥
Blogging goals ahead
Actually this month, I will spend some time in plotting and planning a calendar of sorts for the blog if I can, look into doing up a newsy letter and spruce up the social media. I have gotten onto the Pinterest wagon thanks to Shailja who is a wiz at such stuff and even more wonderful enough to share her knowledge, without any agenda!!! Much much love to her for all the help she has been giving me ♥
P.S: Do check out Shailja’s Facebook page for blogging tips and strategies – just join in.
A special mention and shout out goes to Shilpa who designed my Gravatar with her amazing Zentangle creativity. I love the way she offered to do one for me, when I expressed admiration over hers. Thank you Universe for sending this blessed soul in my life ♥
Thats it from me Amigos for the Gratitude post – looking forward to reading yours. It would be great if you could leave your links in the comment section 🙂
You can read my previous Gratitude post here
Linking up with Vidya for the Gratitude circle
25 thoughts on “April Showers & Sunshine!!”
What a great reflection of your last couple of months – and delight to put a ‘face to the name’ with your photos! Am a huge sari fan and loved wearing it every day in India. Here in the Bonny Land, not so often worn – only special occasion really, but still love my shalwar kameez… with thermal underwear!!! YAM xx
Thanks so much Yamini; hadnt realised my face is missing from my blog 😉 This fabulous Gravatar that Shilpa designed for me has become such a favourite that it graces all my social media accounts too. I am so happy to hear from you; good to see you around. I love saree but always was intimidated by wearing one; this year got my mojo right and decided to wear them no matter what! So even though I need help with the draping- I am happy to announce that I wore 5-6 sarees from my wardrobe- most of them years old and never worn to date 🙂
Congratulations once again on completing the challenge! I know that bittersweet feeling of completing the challenge. I already miss the challenge! I’m in awe of your garden! And you look pretty in sarees! Hope you have a lovely May. 🙂
Aww thank you for such kind words; the heat has been killing for my poor plants; hoping the rainy season will see the spring back in my garden. Saree Swag is also been on the low as I just didnt step out all of april – hopefully will wear one in May now. 🙂
Wonderful! It’s a great achievement to finish A2Z. Nice saree pics and I think, you met many friends and met your blogging goals. I too signed up for Shailaja’s newsletter and I am enjoying my Pinterest growth.
Fist bump on the Pinterest thing Ramya; I am slow at it but enjoying whatever I have understood and doing it as best as I can. AtoZ was tough this year as despite writing 12 posts in advance, I struggled so much. Last year I hadnt written more than 4 and yet I sailed through it – guess had more on my plate this year 🙂
Woa you are one busy bee. How do you even cramp all that in your day. Yaayyy glad you jumped on the yoga bandwagon. You will rock it I am sure. Your look so elegant in sarees… So beautiful
I wish your dad a speedy recovery. ❤
Thanks so much Raj- Dad is doing well with physio and hopefully by the end of May, he will be fully recovered. I am loving Yoga and have so many miles to go before I can call myself a practioneer. I am so bloody stiff thanks to Thyroid 🙁 Somedays pushing myself doesnt seem worth it either. But I am at it and you are my inspiration- wanna do handstands and splits and sidecrow and……………… 🙂
Shalz, that was some April. Sorry to hear about your dad. How he gets better soon. Loved your saree pics. I love sarees too. Don’t wear them too often though. Great to hear that you are doing Yoga. It is so good, right? And well done about A to Z. Kudos! Hope you have a great May!
Thanks Rachna – Dad is much better now!!!!
I love sarees too; just too intimidated with tying one and have made this pact to get over that fear 😉
The blogging community is just so wonderful, isn’t it? I’m a new Pinterest convert too thanks to Shailaja. And Shilpa’s an absolute sweetheart. I do hope your dad is better. Illness can be as hard on the care-giver as it is on the patient. And if it is one’s parent, one needs to be even more patient. Sigh! At least you’re getting some reading done, that’s a plus. I loved your book reviews through April and thanks to you my TBR is exploding :-).
Thank you Tulika for such a warm and sweet comment; you have no idea how much I am basking right now 😉 I still cant believe peeps not only liked my reviews but my book selections too. I had no idea I read so different from peeps – I have been reading based on reccos only. Just finished another book and will be posting its review as I am feeling quite bold to do so now!!!!!
Yes blogger friends are just amazing – I cherish the ones I have and hope to meet them all someday soonest! 🙂
You rocked the challenge girl!!! Despite it not being your niche as you had mentioned, from your choice of books to having put forth a review was brilliant…. Its been your birthday month and so happy to have had a good time. Saree suits you. You must drape it more often. Hope your dad is better now. And you too take care of your health. THeres nothing more miserable than neglecting ones own health. Cheers to the bright things of April and hoping you have another eventful month ahead.
Thanks so much Ramya -I am amazed and happy to note that my book reviews and selections have been liked so much 🙂 Feeling confident to write more of them as and when I read a really good book. Still have some favourites that didnt get mentioned here and I might just get writing on them too.
Dad’s health is much better and yes I am taking care of myself too – cheers
Congrats on completing the challenge, Shalini and it was so nice to read your book reviews. Almost all of them have made it to my TBR if I hadn’t read them already. It was also nice to visit your blog and find such good and sensible writing. I’m gonna be a regular now 🙂
I’m glad your dad is doing better and you seem to be taking very good care of yourself too. Self care and health need to be our priority!
You look adorable in the sarees! 🙂
Yay for the TBR – I look forward to your thoughts on these books now Soumya. Thank you for being such a supportive and encouraging reader all through out the challenge. Happy to hear my writing connected with you and I look forward to having you as a regular on my blog 🙂
Shalini, I loved reading all your posts in April, and that love continues! Love this post of yours which gives us an insight into who you are and what you do. It’s so full of positivity, like you!
Anshu you are such a delightful reader to have – thank you so much for being so enouraging and supportive. Tumhare jaisa Kadardaan kahan milega mujhe 😉
Thank you doll !!!
Blush blush!! <3
Sounds like a wonderful couple of months in spite of a few hiccups! I must confess I haven’t read many blogs in April at all because life has been busy. I will try and catch up on posts when I can. Your gardening skills are amazing! And as for strength and core training – I swear by it! It’s a fantastic feeling. Hope May is awesome for you!
Thanks so much Sanch- I have missed out on reading you too. Hoping to catch up now that the April fever is over 😉
Your smile is as warm as your words and Ah! I love the fact that you love sarees and gardening—so much in common–horror-scope match karana padega ab to! Ha! HA!
Jiyo bindaas and looking forward to seeing you often.
Horror-scope indeed Arti 😉
Thanks for the love and yes shall stay connected as it was a joy to discover your blog this AtoZ – cheers girl!
Wow Shalini – you have take a month full of challenges and joys all in your stride while coming up with great posts for the #A2Z challenge. Congrats!!
Like you, i’m slowly catching up on the blogs I missed, and responding to the comments.
Wishing you the very best. Happy blogging!!
BTW, you are nominated for the mystery blogger award – https://lonelycanopyblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/12/the-mystery-mania/
Do check out and keep the chain going!! ❤ ❤
Thanks Seema – it sure feels great! I will check out the mystery blogger award and do the needful soonest 🙂