The Letter From Santa: Sonia Boal

Looking for a new story to read with the kids? I always love a good Christmas story, and this year Sonia from Losing the Plot has an exciting new children’s book out, ready for the festive season:

The Letter From Santa

Santa is in his workshop at the North Pole, when suddenly he discovers a leak. 

In a land of ice and snow, this seem a bit odd. 

He and his chief Elf and Safety Rep (Jingles) go “up top” to investigate. 

But when they get onto the roof they discover something shocking that could spell the end of Christmas for everyone. Continue reading

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Setting Up a New Bullet Journal in 2019

How to Start a Bullet Journal in 2019

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small amount of money if you make a purchase from any of the Amazon links included.

Bullet Journals are a great tool for anyone who (like myself) have busy lives, being easily adaptable for tracking daily and future activities, goal-setting and organising your lifestyle with the use of bullet points instead of repeated lists and complicated organisers. Created by Ryder Carroll, a digital product designer from New York, they have become an internet phenomenon over the last few years and I have developed a personal obsession – it has helped me to developed my own blogging and business strategies and activities, helped me to streamline my working day, become more organised in my personal life, and I can’t get through my week without it. 

For more information about the Bullet Journal system, here’s the official website.

While they were initially designed to be purely simple and functional, I have seen the development and creativity of different layouts (or ‘spreads,’ as they are known) become increasingly more exciting and detailed, with trackers and overviews now being adapted for every possible activity. However, the beauty and effectiveness of using a Bullet Journal means that spreads can be as easy or as complicated as the creator decides and they can be customised to suit every individual need.  To date, there isn’t a diary, notebook or journal available on the market that is suitable for the sort of trackers I use, so it’s easier to create my own. I also find the process enormously therapeutic and fun! Continue reading

A Night at the Birmingham Awards

Last week The Bloke and I put on our glad rags and went to Edgbaston Stadium for the Birmingham Awards event. I had been shortlisted for Blogger of the Year, which came as a complete surprise, and I found myself surrounded by businesses, organisations and individuals who work hard to contribute to and promote the city.   It had been an interesting afternoon getting ready – by the time we left the house I had managed to put my toe through my tights and was wearing stomach-holding undergarments that were so tight that I wondered if I could get through the evening without breathing too much.  Continue reading

Dress Shopping and a Fail

Not the dress I bought, but always like a bit of shiny…

At the start of November I set myself the challenge of blogging every day during the month. I managed twenty-one days continuously… until yesterday. Quite simply, I wasn’t in the mood, I couldn’t think of anything productive to write that wouldn’t take several hours, I had spent most of the day working on another project and I gave up. The blogging enthusiasm went in the bin. To be fair, going from posting three to four times and month to writing every day for three weeks isn’t bad, but I’m still a little disappointed that I fell short of my target. Still, with a week to go until the end of the month I can catch up on the missed post, but sometimes a break is necessary to regroup and get back on track, even if it’s a short one.  Continue reading

Putting the World to Rights over Hummus

This evening my friend took me for an early birthday meal at Damascena, a Syrian cafe in Birmingham that offers all sorts of mezze platters and flatbreads. I’d never been there before, the food was lovely and as I shovelled rather tasty hummus and halloumi into my face it was a great opportunity to catch up and see how life has been since she got married earlier in the year.  Continue reading

Santa’s Been on the Wine…

The Christmas Market has returned to Birmingham and The Bloke and I visited some of it when we were shopping for my outfit for the Birmingham Awards event this Saturday. It’s still too early for Christmas in my opinion, but I must admit that I particularly liked this Santa, looking like he had already been on the mulled wine already and was currently enjoying a little buzz from the booze! He’ll be a mess by the time the big day actually arrives…

The Viking Picture Perfect Event: A Photography Masterclass with Elouisa Georgiou

Last week I was invited to a Digital Photography Masterclass with Viking, given by professional photographer Elouisa Georgiou.

I love taking photos – amassing thousands of images over the years in various folders on my computer and blog – but usually find it easier to use my phone for the ease of taking a quick picture without having to go through the hassle of carrying a heavy camera around and the option of immediately editing and sharing across my social media. However, this masterclass was a great opportunity to develop some of my skills using a DSLR – something that I rarely use – and I asked The Bloke to give me a crash course on the basics beforehand.

The event took place at Dirty Martini in Birmingham, and I was joined by other bloggers in a Christmas-themed setting as Elouisa introduced us to her work and some of the techniques she uses to create different effects on her images.

Continue reading

Creating a Social Media Strategy and Checklist for Your Blog

Creating a Social Media Strategy and Checklist for Your Blog

One of my biggest blogging regrets (and I’ve said this many times), is the amount of time that I completely ignored my social in the first few years of publishing my posts. My social media accounts are now responsible for about 75% of my daily traffic, have introduced me to thousands of bloggers all over the world and enabled me to build up my own little business within the blogging community.

Social media is by far the most powerful tool we have as bloggers at our disposal, and developing a strategy that utilises it effectively can potentially take a blog to the next level, often with minimum effort, with the added bonus being that most things are completely free! And once everything is set up, it’s fairly quick and easy to update! 

But where to start? Most of us already have a social media account for connecting with family and friends, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat and/or Instagram to name but a few, but even the suggestion of using these as a promotional tool sends many bloggers into a confusing spiral. Continue reading

Peggy Porschen Cakes, London

Visiting Peggy Porschen Cakes, London

Whenever I go to London I always research interesting ideas on Pinterest  for places to visit and experience as I find that tips from locals are always much more useful than some of the bigger travel guides. During every search there is always one thing that appears repeatedly: Peggy Porschen Cakes ‘Parlour’, an Instagram haven with a pastel pink frontage, adorned with gorgeous floral displays that change throughout the year. 

Opened in 2010 by award winning cake designer, author and Creative Director Peggy Porschen and her husband, the bakery is situated in Belgravia, and I discovered that it was in the vicinity of the station I was travelling from on Monday, so I decided to take a little detour and treat myself to a cupcake (for breakfast – why not!). Continue reading

A Visit to East Croydon and Crystal Palace

After my awesome afternoon experiencing a street art tour in Shoreditch with my bloggy friend, Tiffany, I headed on over to Victoria and caught a train to East Croydon to meet another bloggy friend: Donna, the creator of Jot to Jot. We connected a few years ago online and have met several times in person since (she even came to my wedding), and since the birth of her little girl last December I had been promising to visit.

It only took nearly a year. Better late than never I suppose! Continue reading