Chit Chat – Life Update

Chit Chat – Life Update

I’ve been away from my blog from several months and I thought it would be fitting to write a life update! As I mentioned in my New Years Post, I’m moving towards a more quality centric blog instead of quantity. The pressure to blog/vlog has had very bad consequences in the past but blogging when I feel like puts me at ease. However, I always worry that if I’m away for too long, you’ll all forget me! So a life update is awesome to just catch you up to speed on what I’ve gotten up to in my absence!

If there is anything on this list you’d love me to expand on and write a blog about do let me know!

Graduate School

I’m now in my second semester of graduate school. It still feels strange sometimes that I’m doing my masters because I never had a concept of what graduate school would be like. It’s a lot of work, but it’s given me a lot of skills in a few months. My favourite part about graduate school is learning coding/programming languages. I was excited, but nervous to learn it from scratch coming here but I’ve learnt so much and its now one of my best parts about the course. I think it’s that eureka moment I get after stumbling on a code for hours and finally seeing it work. It’s an emotional rollercoaster but I love it so far.

Move Back To WordPress.com

Earlier this year I moved from my blog, which was hosted on WordPress.com to a self hosted site. This inadvertently caused a massive amount of headache as my website crashed multiple times within this time. Also, trying to find the right themes and customizing was also challenging. However, the final nail on the coffin was the lack of engagement with the WordPress community! I hate it. I realised that I don’t care about SEO, domains, self hosted, traffic or any other blog things I “should” care about. It produces a lot of negative feelings for me and makes me unfocused on producing blog content.

I decided to move back and I’m happy and calm not caring about all the extra blogging stuff. I just want my likes and comments over blogging jargon that gives me headache any day!

My site currently looks like a headache so bear with me because WordPress is currently facilitating my transfer! Everything will be back to normal after October 5th.

Self Awareness

I’m striving to be more self-aware. I was really inspired by a Japanese TV show called Terrace House (It’s on Netflix, thank me later).  Besides being amused by all the cultural differences Japanese people had with the Western world, I was particularly impressed by their self-awareness and reflection on all aspects of their life. There is also a strong desire to be better, and think of other people’s feelings and how their interactions affect people. I tend to think of how interactions affect me instead of the other way around, which upon watching this show, exposed my selfish tendencies! I know, strange. I can learn from anything, even reality TV shows. Haha

Dreadlocks

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I started dreadlocks! Myself! They’re currently 4 months old and coming along nicely. I guess you could say I gave up on my natural hair this summer. The breakage and tangling was real so I decided to lock it since my hair tends to want to lock itself every 2 seconds. My locs give me even more peace of mind since I use less products and only have to deal with my hair every 2 months. I ALSO DONT HAVE TO COMB IT OMG YESSSSSSS!!

Weight Loss

I’ve lost a total of 8kg (17lbs) since the beginning of the year.  I lost a lot of weight, but I lost it slowly to preserve my madness. I attribute the first few months of the journey to eating low-calorie alternatives of the things I loved like brownies, ice-cream and spaghetti. However, towards the last few kilograms, I attribute my weight loss to intermittent fasting and eating one massive, delicious, calorie dense, meal a day. I have my hangry, binge days but all in all its going pretty smoothly since I always feel very satiated after each meal.

That’s it for my life update! Theres many little other things that have happened but this is just the main stuff. Thank you for reading!

What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging

What To Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed With Blogging

I’m pacing up and down in my living room, phone in hand, thinking of how I’m going to complete a post about how to stop feeling overwhelmed with blogging when I’m encountering those feelings myself. Haha I’ve been overwhelmed with blogging so many times but I’ve always managed to come out alive and kicking!

Finding the motivation to write, publish and promote posts can be difficult for some bloggers. Blogging can be hard sometimes. And trust me, I totally understand how difficult it is to keep up with writing posts, sharing them, promoting and engaging with your community. It can easily turn into a full-time job.

Overwhelmed with blogging….

I usually overwhelmed when I have a mountain of tasks I need to complete. I wake up some mornings dreading all my Pinterest pins, blogging posts and Instagram pictures I have to keep up with. Then instead of actually doing it, I shut down and do nothing at all.

Once I have a long to-do list I begin to prioritize what is really important and that can leave my blogging as a second priority (I know).

I often shut down because I ask myself “why is this causing so much anxiety for me? Is it even that serious”. The answer to me is no, nothing is never that serious. Which results in me pushing all my blogging duties aside.

It can also be extremely demoralizing when you are pushing out posts and you’re not getting the engagement you want or you are working for. It’s in those times that it is most tempting to ask yourself if you should to quit or keep going?

And sometimes…it’s just not fun. That’s the one thing I dread the most. I never want to get to a point in my blog where I feel like writing is a chore. I always want it to be fun and something I look forward to.

Ask yourself what is really important.

What is really important? Blogging to me is important but at this time in my life is it really important to cause more anxiety than my education? Or my health? No it’s not.

I’ve always gotten some form of anxiety/FOMO from social media so I always aggressively take action when I feel it creeping up again. I try to re-center my thoughts and focus on what is really important. Doing this removes those feelings of anxiety.

Only do the bare minimum and what is necessary

You’re not super woman. It’s okay to not be able to do 1000 things at once. Try to focus on one thing and do that well. Last week, I didn’t want to read any posts or pin on Pinterest. I guess you could say I took a break because I didn’t have the mental energy to do blogging stuff. I just wanted to binge watch Stranger things 2. LOL

All I did was like a few pictures on my Instagram. It really took the pressure off for a while and now I’m ready to go back in full force!

Always try to automate things that can be automated. Automate your Pinterest with Tailwind. You could even automate your Instagram. At the moment, I don’t do either because I don’t want to spend that money yet. But once I do, it will definitely ease the pressure of keeping up with blogging for me! I highly recommend it.

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Force yourself to write, Even if you don’t feel like it.

When I don’t feel like writing, I write. Even if it’s the shittiest thing I’ve ever written in my life I’ll keep typing and finish the post. I can then later go back and edit it. Which usually turns out to be a really good post!

You don’t have to be completely inspired each time you write a post. I highly doubt that even the greatest writers were inspired each time they put the ink on paper. So write away!

Don’t get hung up on numbers

It’s fun when you’re growing in numbers but very discouraging when you are not gaining followers or even losing them! My fellow blogger friends often complain about losing followers so I can empathise with them over this situation.

Never compromise yourself for a few followers or likes. It soooo exhausting and burns you out faster than you can imagine. I know numbers are all the rage right now in the blogging world but I believe we are shifting towards an engagement-centric community soon. It doesn’t matter, as long as your 50, 100 or 1000 followers are engaged that is amazing in itself.

Your blog, your rules

It’s your blog and you make the rules. When I had 15 followers and now I have 2400, I always had an audience that genuinely enjoyed my content. I listened to them but I always blogged about what truly interested me. I made the rules as I saw fit and because of this, it’s more difficult for me to be overwhelmed with blogging.

At the end of the day, do what makes you happy with your blog and if something is making you feel unpleasant, scrap it! It takes the edge off knowing you are completely in control of your blogging outcome…


I hope I’ve helped you with some ways to get over those overwhelming feelings over your blog.

I would love to know if you’ve ever felt overwhelmed with blogging?

What methods do you use to ease that pressure?

I’ve Gone Self Hosted: The Move To My New Website!

I’ve Gone Self Hosted: The Move To My New Website!

I have been flirting with the idea of going self hosted for months now and I finally did it! I’ve Moved! If you’re reading this post right now it means you’re still subscribed to Thepearlylife.wordpress.com!

I have now moved my blog over to thepearlylife.com so I will no longer update posts on this website!

I hope you can join me over on my new website! I already have some new posts I would love you to read.

Thank you so much for your support on my blog. I wouldn’t be here without it. ❤️

Love,

Pearl.

Travel Diary: Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Florida

Two days before the monster Hurricane Irma was set to make landfall in Florida, I decided to go to Disney’s Animal Kingdom! I have been going to Disney World every year for the past 14 years so I am very familiar with most rides in all the theme parks.

I didn’t want to miss going here because it was my birthday and I wanted to celebrate it  for once! I’m really glad I did but now I’m currently cooped up at home recovering from the hurricane writing this post. It’s been a journey!

Disney World is arguably the most popular theme park in the world. There are many parks that have different themes that stay true to their names. There is Magic Kingdom, which is dedicated to fairy tales and Disney princesses. Epcot, which is dedicated to technology and futurism and Animal Kingdom, which is dedicated to nature and it’s animals!

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

I visited the theme park with my family and it was a really sunny when we arrived in the parking lot. There were many cars parked already and we walked forward to a series of poles to wait for a tram to pick us up!

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It takes about 3 minutes to reach the ticketing booths so it’s a really short ride!

You can buy Disney World tickets in person or online. I bought my tickets online so I didn’t need to wait in line to get tickets. I simply walked to the booth in front and scanned my bar code on my phone to get in!

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Once you’re inside the park you immediately feel as if you are in an Amazonian forest. There is a lush display of evergreen trees everywhere and beautiful flowers scattered around. It really gives you the feel of the Jungle!

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The park is divided into roughly 4-6 sections but I only remember 4! There is Africa, Asia, Dinoland and Pandora.

Pandora: The World Of Avatar

Pandora is Disney’s new attraction that recently opened in Animal Kingdom. It reportedly cost half a billion dollars to construct! I’m a big avatar fan so there is no way I was going to miss seeing this attraction!

Pandora is absolutely breathtaking! It blows my mind just thinking about all the hours that went into the construction of the scenery. The surrounding area looks like it came straight out of the Avatar movie! Those strangely shaped rocks and filled with green leaves and spinning thingies? They’re all there and look so real. It was so great to be immersed into the environment.

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I also saw the machines that the humans used in the Avatar movie. I loved how they made it life-sized. You could just tell that a lot of effort was put into the design and construction of these structures!

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The Na’vi River Journey

Up next was one of my most anticipated rides; the Na’vi River Journey! The Na’vi river journey is a boat ride through a bioluminescent rain forest in search for the Shaman Of Songs. It was a really dark ride so it was difficult to get some good shots! But there is a giant life-sized singing avatar robot (the shaman), 3D animations and lots of sensations that make you feel like you’re really in the Na’Vi River! It’s definitely a ride that you should not miss if you go to Pandora!

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Standing in the long lines had me beat so I decided to get some delicious bubble tea called “Night Blossom” at a stall nearby. This was my first time getting bubble tea and I was pleasantly surprised!

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The lines in Animal Kingdom are also ridiculously long so make sure you have some sunscreen, comfortable shoes and a bottle of water. I stood for 1 hour to enter the Na’vi river and the ride only lasted for 5 minutes. The two other Pandora rides had 120 minute long lines! Long lines are just something you have to prepare for in Disney because there is always a crowd present.

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Africa: The Festival Of The Lion King

Up next was the walk to the Festival of the Lion King all the way in Africa! This was a broadway show with Simba and his friends filled with elaborate props, acrobatics and special effects.

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I love broadway shows and musicals so this was something I was really looking forward to! I was pleasantly surprised because I taught it was just a simple singing show. It is so much more than that! It was also a full 30 minute show so I was happy that it wasn’t as short as most Disney attractions/rides.

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Off To Dinoland….

Dinoland is dedicated to Dinosaurs and the main attractions are really the rollercoasters there! I wanted to go on some of the rollercoasters there but my sister was afraid and riding alone in a rollercoaster isn’t fun to me. We skipped on that and rode a little cute baby dinosaur on the Dino-Rama ride!

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Entertainment Around The Park

I loved how there was lots of entertainment around the park that didn’t require you to stand in long lines. There was a drumming quartet in Pandora, a harp player near Dinoland and acrobatic dancers in Africa.

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I think I had a really good birthday celebration at Animal Kingdom! I usually don’t celebrate my birthdays because I just can’t be bothered. good experience that I won’t forget! Thank you so much for reading.

Have you ever been to Disney? 

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How To Let Go Of Negativity On Social Media and The Blogosphere

How To Let Go Of Negativity On Social Media and The Blogosphere

It more difficult to stay positive on social media and the blogosphere these days when you are bombarded by negative feelings and ideas on a daily basis. I have recently seen many posts about how blogging is changing (for the worse), the Instagram algorithm sucks and bloggers are liars. Basically, the rhetoric is that blogging is all round more difficult. I have also witnessed a couple of twitter fights among people and Snapchat stories where someone is calling another person names and asking for a fight. It is all very exhausting to witness.

Regarding the blogging situation, I personally believe that blogging and it’s platforms must eventually evolve and change. There may be a few growing pains while that happens, but there is always room to thrive in any environment!

I’m a generally positive person so I always try to avoid negativity at all costs now. Be it negative thoughts like anger and envy or just negative people and posts in general. It is not always easy, but here are some of the tactics I had to adopt to let go of that negativity!

Out of sight, out of mind.

Everyone knows the best way to get over something is to cut all contact. I think the same can be applied in dealing with negativity and negative emotions. Everything I ingest on social media is done in a conscious manner now because I know how slippery that slope is. One minute you’re admiring the beautiful vacation someone took and the next minute you’re wallowing in self-pity about how shitty your own life is.

Everyone is living different lives and it is very clear that social media is not what it seems. Most people show you the best versions of themselves. When they are laughing and looking their best in beautiful places. They don’t show you their tears, fears or struggles. Everyone has bad days. The person who’s life you think is perfect may be dealing with worse problems than you. For this reason, it’s very important to not compare your life at face value to other people on social media.

I also periodically assess how the people I follow make me feel. Do I feel inspired following this person or does it bring up negative feelings on my part? If I feel negative feelings, I unfollow that person immediately. It doesn’t matter if they are a stranger I met from the internet or a close friend. Surrounding myself with people who bring positive thoughts and feelings is important for my mental health and well-being! I believe our mental health is something we should not take lightly.

Ignore, Block, Repeat.

Whenever we are attacked by someone on the internet it’s very easy to think of a witty reply and lash out to the person that hurt you. But when you take a few seconds to assess the situation you realise that the people who are attacking you are probably projecting their insecurities on you. Once you’re aware of this, it is easier to let things go.

I have thankfully not been in any major conflicts on social media for a while now but I realised that they dwindled down once I started ignoring the people that attacked me. Arguing is a massive waste of time to me. It hardly goes anywhere and you can end up saying something very hurtful. I now have the policy of if I get attacked, I will silently block the person. It preserves my dignity and cuts the conflict short.

However, some things are harder to ignore than others and in that case, I’m an advocate for standing up for yourself. But it’s important to pick and choose our battles.

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Put things in perspective.

Putting your life in perspective and really acknowledging the privileges that you have is a good practice to adopt. You may not have a perfect life on paper, but there is almost always something to be thankful for. Focusing on the good things in your life can help you let go of the negativity. Also, having a positive outlook in the midst of negativity is a very important.

I also noticed that a lot of the things I used to get riled up about on the internet are really not that important in the grand scheme of things. Once I realized this, I stopped letting things get to me or offend me and just let it go!

Take a breather

Designating time to focus on you is great. It refreshes you and may make social media seem not so negative anymore. I have at least one day of the week where I don’t open my Instagram or WordPress. This activity became important to me after my Social Media Detox. It allowed me to forget the world of ones and zeros and really be in the moment. Sometimes it’s difficult to leave because there is this irrational a fear of missing out, but I always try to remember that it will be there when I come back!

Final Tip: Follow loads of meme accounts on Instagram, you will not be disappointed. LOL

I hope you enjoyed reading this post! I would love to know what your thoughts are on negativity in general.

How do you feel about negative posts and negativity on social media?

How do you deal with that negativity?

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 700 Followers Milestone! Blogging Goals and Q&A

 700 Followers Milestone!  Blogging Goals and Q&A

I now have 700 followers on The Pearly Life!!!  I would like to thank every single one of you that followed and showed support on my posts. I honestly didn’t think I would be at this point at all when I started blogging. It’s an amazing and surreal experience. Angela said something about getting followers so quickly in her recent post which I thought was so true.

I feel excited, but also freaked out at the same time. It is a strange feeling to get a large influx of  followers and sometimes you do not even believe it is happening to you. I feel like I may just blink and it would be over!

Blogging Goals

My blog stats tremendously improved in the month of May. I started my blog on June 2016  then abandoned it a month later. It was March 2017 that I started to take my blogging more seriously. My stats, views, likes, followers and engagement have in turn increased each month and I hope I can continue in this upward trajectory!

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I would like to begin branch out on the type of posts I make. My blog is seriously lacking in the Lifestyle category so I would love to increase the frequency of those posts. I personally love a bit of diversity so I would love to blog about different topics on my blog. What would you guys like to see? I would love to hear your opinion on it!

I also see myself moving into a self hosted blogging platform like WordPress.org soon. I like WordPress.com but there is a serious lack of creative freedom when it comes to the design of your blog, SEO tools, widgets and many more. It has become more frustrating so I will begin to seriously look into moving in the coming months!

I also would love to increase my social media presence now so I am currently focusing on Instagram and Twitter. I don’t know what I’m doing yet but once I figure it out I will make a post helping my fellow bloggers here! ❤

Q&A

I also think it would be appropriate to do a Q&A now since I have quite a number of people subscribed to this blog. I love reading Q&A’s and it would be nice to let you all know a bit about the person behind this blog!

If you have any questions please leave a comment and I will answer it in my next post or next two posts!

Travel Diary: Dubai City Tour

Travel Diary: Dubai City Tour

I hit 600 WordPress followers a few days ago and I am absolutely buzzing! Thank you all for the continued support I really, really appreciate it!

Although it’s been a while since I left Dubai,  I’ve finally gotten around to completing the mountain of posts just sitting in my drafts and I thought it would be nice to share this today. I hope you enjoy!

The Dubai half day city tour is a roundup of all the famous attractions and places in Dubai in 4 hours or more. It goes by pretty quickly but it is actually impossible to see everywhere in such a short period of time! The tour started with the driver picking us up from out hotel and taking us to a tour bus filled with other passengers.

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Our first stop was the Dubai museum where we got to experience the history of the city of Dubai. It shows how the people of Dubai lived 100’s of years ago before the discovery of oil that lead to the growth of the city.  There were sculptures depicting how people sold gold, travelled with these tiny boats along creeks, fished and entertained themselves. It was amazing to see how far they had come! Although I enjoyed the museum, I would suggest visiting it on a separate day because it is too big to see everything in one afternoon.

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The area where the museum was located was coined “Old Dubai” because this area preceded the Dubai city we know now.  The difference between Old Dubai and New Dubai is very clear. Old Dubai has beautiful quiet small buildings and not many skyscrapers around while New Dubai is filled with large intricate buildings and bridges with interesting designs. It is a truly modern city.

People always say that each time you visit Dubai it always looks different. This is true because they are constantly building new structures and roads. All the popular structures, buildings and the surrounding towns were all built in less than 25 years. The growth of Dubai is amazing.

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Next up was a photo-op at the Jumeirah mosque. It is one of the most photographed mosques in Dubai city and for good reason!  I would have loved to enter the mosque and do a separate tour but because our city tour only lasted for four hours we were not scheduled to do that.

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Next stop was Burj Al Arab which is probably one of the most recognised structures in Dubai. It is a famous 7 star luxury hotel that has a very peculiar structure, similar to a ship. It has outrageously expensive rooms with extravagant architecture. I would really love to see the inside one day!

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The pictures of Burj Al Arab are taken on Jumeirah beach so there are many people relaxing, enjoying the view and eating. I got this delicious coconut water from a nearby stall in the area. The seller was a man from Kenya who started talking about his sister who married a Nigerian and now he never sees her anymore but she’s balling on Facebook and driving nice cars. He said Nigerians have too much money. It was an absolutely hilarious conversation.

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At the end of the day we booked a dinner cruise on the Dubai Creek. The Dubai creek separates Deira from Bur Dubai city. The boat circle the creek while we are served dinner and listen to music while we take in the beautiful Dubai scenery! I really enjoyed this activity because it was relaxing and allowed me to really sit and observe my surroundings. The only thing that was very a bit disappointing was the food. I don’t think a lot of effort was put into making the food so it tasted dry, chalky and cold.

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All in all, it was very nice seeing Dubai City in a day and it is a beautiful place with so much history. My favourite thing I did that day was visiting the museum. My love for museums is already evident on my blog but is somewhere I would definitely want to go to again!

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