Stop Dreaming and Start Doing!

Creating a new life

There’s an inspirational quote that I often see shared around on Pinterest:

If you want something bad enough, it will happen.

Nonsense. It should say:

If you want something badly enough you have to get up, create a viable plan and work hard for it.

It doesn’t have the same ring to it, granted, but it’s certainly more accurate.

Things are happy. In fact, it’s the happiest it’s ever been and I was recently reminded of how life has changed when my Facebook and Twitter timelines were filled with desperate messages from teacher friends as they went back to work after the summer. A few years ago I would have been sitting in a training or data analysis session and feeling utterly miserable. Instead, I made myself a nice breakfast, snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and the cat, watched some TV and then worked through my social media management checklist, followed by a bit of Bullet Journaling in the afternoon. Bliss. Continue reading

How to Create, Join and Use Pinterest Group Boards

Pinterest, despite all of the updates and changes that have been made over the last 9 months, is still a primary source of traffic to my blog. I took my time to join and develop my boards (and I wish I’d have done it sooner) but it remains my favourite way to share my posts and to access interesting posts that cover posts of lots of different topics.

One of the easiest ways of boosting my traffic has been the creation of my own board and joining those created by others.

Essentially, a blogging group board is like an ongoing link-up and sharing opportunity (and those of you who follow the blog regularly will know how much I like I good party). It works in the same way as all the other boards, but instead of just the creator sharing their pins, others are allowed to join the board and pin their own posts and posts from others that they have enjoyed. The more members and followers a board has, the more likely the pin will be seen and repinned elsewhere.

Each board is different, usually with specific rules depending on the creators preferences. Some are a free-for-all, ie. you can pin as many posts as you like, while some only allow one pin a day. Others ask that you share someone else’s post along with your own. Some are focused solely on a theme – blogging tips, DIY, recipes, crafts, beauty. Some have no theme at all, as long as they are blog posts. Continue reading

How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging: Part Two

In my previous post I gave hints and tips about starting a Bullet Journal for bloggers, with advice about materials that can be used.

This post is about setting up pages – or SPREADS as they are known in the Bullet Journal community.

Before I even started, I worked out what I needed to help with my blogging activities each month.

A monthly overview (1 page)
A weekly calendar that would incorporate my To Do lists (4-5 pages)
Blog post ideas and earnings (1 page)
A daily checklist with a list of blogging tasks and stat tracker for the month that would incorporate clients social media trackers too (1 page) Continue reading

How to Create a Bullet Journal for Blogging: Part One

For the last two years, I’ve requested one thing for Christmas – a notebook. In that notebook, I keep ongoing trackers of my blog and social media stats, monthly and daily checklists, trackers of my social media client stats and some ideas and small drafts for blog posts.

What I didn’t realise that I was doing was creating my own version of a bullet journal. In fact, up until about two months ago I’d never really heard much about them, that is, until I watched a ‘July Plan With Me’ YouTube tutorial from AmandaRachLee on creating a monthly set of ‘spreads,’ (that’s page layouts to us ordinary folk). Since then it has become a bit of an obsession – I’ve watched more tutorials than I can count, allowed myself a small budget to buy materials, practiced different handwriting styles and layouts and began the process of setting up a bullet journal ready for 2018. My intention is to set up most of the journal for the year in advance, although many Bullet Journal users plan from month to month. I need something that is ready for me to use – I’m the sort of person that would fall behind and would leave myself with too much to do if I had to set up each month the day before. Continue reading

Free Things to Do During a No Spend Challenge

No spend challenge - thrifty ideas

It’s the summer and with wedding preparations well under way I have found that my finances have taken a bit of a beating, almost to the the point where I almost expect the ATM to laugh at me when I try and take any money out. Consequently, I’ve been on a no spend challenge for a while (more on that in a later post) to avoid wasting money on frivolous nonsense. Over the last few weeks I have been looking at ideas to do things that make me happy, but don’t involve spending money… Continue reading

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 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