Rescued Animals at Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary

Those who know The Bloke in his personal life will be aware of his passion for photography, in particular of his love of landscapes and British wildlife.

I’ve been wanting to do something as a surprise for him for a while, so when I discovered Nuneaton and Warwickshire Wildlife Sanctuary I was delighted!

There’s quite an inspirational story behind the sanctuary and it’s owner, Geoff. Continue reading

Ignore the Chicken…

I awoke to find that something had happened overnight with my blog. In my sidebar I have a number of widgets – blogs I enjoy, awards I have won, some of my favourite posts etc. However, this morning I discovered that some of these have been resized and replaced with random images from my media library, including a picture of a chicken named Tikka that I met at the weekend (you’ll see what that was about in my post later today).

So, for now, while the lovely engineers at WordPress are working out what on earth is going on, please ignore the chicken and other random pictures that are currently sitting at the side of my blog. Well, don’t completely ignore him (he’s an awesome chicken), but don’t think that I have a habit of promoting random fowl on the blog. That is, unless you read my post about Derek, the Stealth Chicken who appeared in my back garden a few years ago…

Blog of the Day: The Recipe Hunter!

Meet Esmé! She’s the creator of The Recipe Hunter: Cook and Enjoy, a blog dedicated to beautiful recipes of lots of different types of foods.

She loves to share her passion with cooking and experimenting with different dishes and her blog is wealth of knowledge of all things food! I love the fact that The Recipe Hunter follows a ‘tried and tested’ premise, which not only tests different recipes from a personal perspective, but gives honest reviews as to the success level of the instructions, as well as giving credit and promotion to others within the food blogging world. I always like it when I see the blog love being shared around! I also like the fact that she includes photographs of her results – as someone who enjoys cooking it helps me to feel more confident about trying new recipes and I can see what the dish is actually meant to look like! Continue reading

The Alternative Wedding Ceremony Playlist

The final stage of the official, legally binding wedding paperwork was the return of the requested readings and music list so the full Order of Ceremony can be created. We were required to give details on all of the music that we were planning to use – as it is a civil ceremony there is no sacred music allowed – and this needs to be checked in advance to avoid any vetos happening on the day. In total, we had to provide a list of tracks totalling about 45 minutes, which will be used while the guests are arriving, when I walk down the aisle, when we sign the register and as we exit. Continue reading

The Problem with Overthinking

Of all the negative personality traits that I posses, one stands high above the rest as being the most destructive.

I’m a thinker. If something bothers me, particularly in a situation where I feel unfairly treated, I’ll think about it… and then I’ll think some more. I’ll even think about the way that I’m thinking about something and by the time I have finished thinking I will have inevitably blown the initial annoyance out of all proportion in my mind. I think about what I could or should have said or done, what I wish I hadn’t said or done, what I will say and do in the future. I think about what has been said and done to me, and what should have been said to me instead.

It’s a lot of thinking… and it’s exhausting.

Despite the fact that I’m fully aware that this is not a healthy thing to do, I have found it difficult to control at times and the end result is always the same – I will have wound myself up and become agitated, the problem still remains unresolved and the only person left feeling angry, anxious or hurt is me. Continue reading

Should You Self-Censor Your Personal Blog?

Should you self-censor your personal blog?

It’s common knowledge that employers will check social media pages during an interview process and things that are deemed inappropriate can have a potentially damaging impact on a candidates success when applying for a job. Similarly, there are endless stories of people who have had their employment terminated after posting something online. Social media has now become a part of our daily lives, to the point where are now teaching students in the education system about how to manage social media accounts appropriately.

It seems logical for me that blogs that are solely for the purpose of business should be handled in a professional, efficient and eloquent manner, in the same way you would expect someone in any profession to behave in person within the workplace. Continue reading

My New Obsession… Love Island!

When it comes to ‘reality’ television, I lost a lot of interest in it years ago. I remember avidly watching Big Brother and X Factor for the first three seasons, I got into TOWIE and Made in Chelsea for a while, and watched a season or two of I’m a Celebrity, but other than that my only regular viewing has been of the Real Housewives franchise, and that’s mainly because there isn’t anything else on the TV at 5.00pm which is when it is generally shown on Freeview. Continue reading

Adele at Wembley Stadium: The Finale

**Warning – spoilers**

Last night I went to see Adele perform at Wembley Stadium. It was the final leg of her 124 date tour (we were at performance 120) that has seen her go through Europe, America, Australia and New Zealand, and with an audience of 98,000 people she had broken the record for a concert of that size at the venue. My sister (who had bought the tickets as a wedding present) had also booked us into a hotel on the Wembley Complex for two nights, so it became a three day mini break and I was ridiculously excited. Continue reading

Wedding Prep, a Birthday and Wagamama

Last week was my sister’s 30th birthday, so we made plans to meet up as a family for lunch yesterday. As my sister lives 100 miles away, I got the train up north on Saturday and stayed at her house. It was also the perfect opportunity to spend some time with my brother-in-law and Squidge (my niece) who is now 5 months old.

As always, traveling up in the afternoon is always busy, and it didn’t help that my train was severely delayed, but by the time I arrived I was met with this gorgeous face, which made it all worthwhile. Her hair is beginning to grow so she is looking less like Grant Mitchell from Eastenders now, which is always a bonus!

 

Saturday night was fairly relaxed – the delayed train and the awful traffic meant that we didn’t get home until late – and my brother-in-law was out with his own siblings so after Squidge had been put in bed my sister and I over-indulged on the snacky treats and watched our favourite chick-flick – Only You – while catching up and generally talking nonsense. To save her the time and effort of setting up the airbed I stayed on the couch (which happens to be the world’s comfiest) and enjoyed the luxury of Sky TV, which The Bloke and I don’t have. Continue reading

How To Monetise Your Blog

How to use a blog to make money

A little while ago I gave a presentation at the Annual Bloggers Bash in London with the focus being on monetising a blog and using a blog to make money in other creative and writing fields. Since then, I’ve received numerous requests to post the content of my presentation for those who were unable to attend, so here it is (hopefully with a little less waffle)…

Having a blog has been a life-changing experience. It has allowed me a lifestyle that I could have only previously dreamed of and enabled me to take more control of when and where I work and who I work for. Four-and-a-half years ago I was working as a teacher, I had an outstanding reputation and good results and was in a financially stable and secure role… And I was miserable – stressed, tired, depressed and had started to develop panic attacks. Writing has always been therapeutic and the house was beginning to become overrun by beautiful notebooks containing my scribbles, so The Bloke (who is an IT Technician) suggested that I start a blog. After a particularly bad day I signed up to WordPress, hastily gave myself a name, wrote a post and pressed the publish button. That was it – there were no expectations or technical knowledge behind what I was doing (I don’t think I even used tags for the first few weeks) – but it became a hobby that I quickly found satisfying. That was in April 2013 and by March 2015 I handed in my resignation and left the teaching profession at the end of the academic year. Continue reading