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

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 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

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

Feeling Hot, Hot, Hot!

The U.K. is currently experiencing a heatwave and I am loving every second of it. I seem to be in the minority – my Facebook and Twitter timelines are filled with complaints about it being too hot to handle – but I have embraced what will almost certainly be our only summer weather this year. Let’s face it, as a nation we spend so many months complaining about the cold, rain and dark, spending a fortune on foreign holidays just so we can experience this sort of weather, so I have little understanding of why everyone is so unhappy about it. I’ve taken full advantage of the temperature change – I’ve done loads of laundry and put it outside (having to time it in order to avoid the barbecues from the neighbours), opened loads of windows around the house, sat in a beer garden drinking a cider with my friend at the local pub, made some summery food and eaten ice-cream. Perfect. The only regret I have is that we are far away from a beach, otherwise you would have found me with my feet in the sand. Continue reading

Thoughts with Grenfell Tower and London

I happened to be on Twitter in the early hours of Wednesday morning and saw reports coming in of a massive fire in a tower block in London. At the time, it was on one side of the building, spreading quickly and it was possible to see people flashing their lights from their rooms to let the fire services know that they were still in there. By the morning, the fire was still raging and had consumed almost the entire building.

The feeling of utter helplessness watching those images was overwhelming. Stories surfaced of truly awful things that people had had to experience to try and save themselves, and there are already confirmed deaths and a large number of people still missing.

In any tragedy of this magnitude I always try and seek anything positive, and was hugely uplifted by the endless reports of the local Londoners and then the nation who immediately opened their homes and started donations of money, food and clothing to the survivors who have lost everything that they owned. I cannot possibly imagine what the survivors must be going through, and I’m so proud of the way that everyone has pulled together in their support. This is what we do best.

As always, my thoughts are also with the brave firefighters who risked their lives to tackle the blaze and try and save those inside. I know from conversations that I’ve had with my fireman friend over the years that what they experience every day are stay with them for the rest of their lives, and we as a society are forever indebted to them for what they do…

My love and thoughts are with everyone affected…

Baywatch, a CV Meltdown and a Busy Week

I always wake up with the intention of writing a post, but it seems that of late it hasn’t happened. It has been a busy, exciting, tiring and frustrating time, and I’ve had to focus daily on self-care activities and mindfulness in order to keep myself together at times.

The view of Yeovil

Half-term week was one of the best I have had in a while. I attended my friend’s wedding, which was absolutely perfect, and I’m delighted for her that everything went so beautifully. It was also an extra-enjoyable time for The Bloke and I for the opportunity that it provided to have an extended break away from home for a few days. As the wedding was an almost three hour drive away, we decided that it would make more sense to stay overnight in a hotel in Yeovil (that I will refer to as ‘The Town Where the Internet Goes to Die – I had no signal whatsover for the majority of the time) to avoid potential traffic chaos on the motorway and we ended up having an impromptu date day and night. Continue reading