A Glorious Day and a Wasted Journey

It was the hottest day of the year on Thursday and the sun finally made an appearance after what seemed like the longest and most depressing winter ever. It was so nice to see a blue sky. Everyone was in the park, the people daft enough to buy convertibles were driving around with the tops down and the music blasting (basically because it’s one of about 5 days a year that they can actually do that here in the UK), and every man in sight was walking around without a top on for exactly the same reasons. Before the evening had even started there was a smell of barbecue in the air as everyone decided to burn some meat outside, just because they could, and I could hear an ice-cream truck on the next road up.

I, however, was affected by utter moron-itis. Continue reading

Advertisements

Props Under £20 for Creating Beautiful Blog & Instagram Images

Props under £20 for creating blog and Instagram images

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

I’m certainly not a photographer by any means (that is more of The Bloke’s passion than mine), but one of the things that I enjoy doing in my free time is experimenting with props and different flat lay images that I can use for my blog and social media.

I’ve written about creating beautiful flat lay images before, but this was more about the process of how to set them up. Since then, I’ve received lots of questions asking about prop and budget ideas from others who want to create their own but don’t want to spend a fortune doing so.

There’s a million different advice posts and tutorials on the subject, but what I’ve discovered when trawling through a some of them is that many have splashed out on different lighting rigs and light boxes, backdrops and props and use an expensive SLR camera. Continue reading

Useful Twitter Hashtags for Bloggers

Useful twitter hashtags for bloggers

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag, put simply, is a label or category that allows others to find something within a specific theme or content and are primarily used on Twitter and Instagram. Once you have copied a URL or used the share button on a post, hashtags can be used to direct your post towards the people you want to read them. On Twitter you can use a hashtag for everything – #cats, #dogs, #football, #sandwiches – but as a blogger the main focus is to use categories that will gain interest in your content and grow your readership and traffic.

Using Trending Hashtags

Trending hashtags are the most popular things on Twitter at a particular moment in time  and at several points in the last few years I have written a post about a topic while it was trending, with immediate effect on my traffic once it was posted.

You can find the trending hashtags in your search section of Twitter – the 20 most popular ones will automatically appear. If something is trending, take the opportunity to base a post around a hashtag and tweet it out. Continue reading

One. Million. Views.

Holy crap.

Just under five years ago (April 2013), I came home from work after a particularly bad day, created a WordPress account and hastily wrote a very short introductory post entitled ‘Stuff.’

I have a lot of stuff. When I first moved down to Birmingham to start my degree everything that I owned could be fit into the back of a Ford Escort. Now, almost twelve years later, I own everything I have except the shell of the house that I live in. This blog is an attempt to sort out the stuff that I have surrounded myself with for years… And I’m not just referring to the physical objects that are in the house…

And that’s exactly what this blog helped me to do… sort my stuff out. It has been the biggest influence in almost every aspect of life, allowing me to change my career path, discover new goals and talents, experience places and things that I could have only dreamed of in my previous existence, understand myself better, calm my demons, re-establish estranged relationships and has introduced me to some of the most inspiring, creative and incredible people from all over the world both online and in person that I would never have have the privilege to get to know otherwise. Instead of filling my house with half-finished journals, it has been my online diary and record of the unbelievable highs and struggles of my life: getting engaged and married to The Bloke, welcoming The Squidge (my niece) into the world, watching as the important people in my life get married and have children, quitting my teaching job, travel, food, reviews, hosting workshops, winning the Best Overall Blog at the Annual Bloggers Bash in London…

I only told one friend when I first started writing – I showed her one of my posts during a meal at a pizza restaurant after I’d gained about 10 followers while my heart was beating out of my chest, and after she gave me a positive reaction and boosted my confidence we had a conversation about what I could achieve with it.

“You could get a million views!” I remember her saying, and I laughed at the prospect.

And today, that’s exactly what happened – this little piece of the internet had it’s MILLIONTH VIEW…

Unbelievable.

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read, share, tweet, pin, advise, support… I couldn’t have done it without you!

Here’s to the next million!

Lunch for One…

I took the day off today and decided to actually get out of the house and go into the city. The initial plan was to go to the cinema first but I left a little too late, so instead decided to spend the money that I had budgeted for the film on things that I don’t need, but what makes me happy.

The weather was bright and sunny, which was fabulous considering we’ve just had what feels like an eternity of dark and gloom. I walked across most of Birmingham – I bought some highlighters from Cass Stationery, my favourite bath stuff from Lush, some of The Bloke’s favourite sweets from the awesome sweet shop in the Great Western Arcade, something from Forbidden Planet comic shop for The Bloke and then o took myself off for lunch. Continue reading

The Bloggers Bash Awards: Nominations Are Now Open!

The Annual Bloggers Bash Award Nominations are Open!

NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN FOR THE BLOGGERS BASH AWARDS (ABBAs)

The Bloggers Bash is just three months away, which means the ABBAs (Annual Bloggers Bash Awards) are back! Every year, we run a set of blogging awards nominated and voted for by you.

To buy a ticket for the Annual Bloggers Bash click here

This year, the awards are being sponsored by Greenstory – a fantastic eco-friendly company who are awarding each of the winners with a STONE notebook… Yes, a notebook actually made of stone. For more details, check out Suzie’s review of the notebook here or their website here. Continue reading

The Bloggers Bash Awards Are Back!

Annual Bloggers Bash

Now in its fourth year, the Annual Bloggers Bash returns bigger and better than ever. The venue is booked, and the committee is busy working behind the scenes to ensure the day is full of fun, learning opportunities, networking, and, of course, the blogtastic award ceremony.

This year, the awards are being sponsored by Greenstory – a fantastic eco-friendly company who are awarding each of the winners with a STONE notebook… Yes, a notebook actually made of stone. For more details, check out my review of the notebook here:

The nominations will open soon but we wanted to share the award categories with you to give everyone plenty of time to think about who they feel deserves a nomination.

Get your thinking caps on and keep an eye out for future posts. Nominations will open on March 6th, 2018. Continue reading

Bloggers Bash Blog Post Competition: Win a £100 Amazon Gift Card!

The Bloggers Bash writing competition was so popular last year that the committee is bringing it back (with a slight difference) for 2018.

As you may have noticed, there’s another exciting event happening in London the same day as our Bloggers Bash. Although it won’t be as much fun as our event, the news of a Royal Wedding has undoubtedly given us a lot to think about.

So, we’re launching the Bloggers Bash Blog Post Competition 2018 based on the theme of ‘Royalty.’ You’ve got a maximum of 300 words to share a flash fiction story, anecdote, poem, or another piece of work or writing on this theme. You might be inspired by Harry and his princess, or by the venue of this year’s Bloggers Bash (George IV). Or you might have another idea in mind. If you’re a photographer, then publish a post that includes photos of what ‘Royalty’ means to you.

The Cost: £5 per entry or £8 for two entries – all proceeds go to funding The Bloggers Bash, payment accepted through PayPal only, at the bottom of the post. Continue reading

Greenstory STONE Notebook: A Review

 

Those of you who follow the blog regularly will know of my obsession with Bullet Journals and stationery. You can imagine my excitement when I was asked to try out a brand new notebook by Greenstory... made of STONE.

Yes, you read it correctly… it’s made of stone.

Developed by Dutch brother & sister duo Kaim and Yagmur and supported by copywriter Fleur, Greenstory seeks to make a difference for sustainability. The paper for the Stone Notebook is made of 80% calcium carbonate, which is waste material from marble quarries. 20% polyethylene is added, and that’s it. It uses 6X less energy to produce and leaves a 3X smaller CO2 footprint. No coating, water, acid, bleach or optical brighteners. The material can be infinitely recycled to make more Stone notebooks!

It also makes the paper waterproof and much stronger – one of the first things that I attempted to do when I received the notebook was rip the corner of one of the back pages, and while it was possible to tear it – there was a noticeable difference in the overall strength than other notebooks I have used. Continue reading

My Face Hurts

After being indoors for what seems like forever, I took today off. I love what I do, but after 12 consecutive days I needed a bit of me time. As the weather was glorious this morning I decided to make an effort and do things that make me happy, so I had a hot bath, spent time doing my hair and make-up, got the bus into Birmingham and had a wander round my favourite stationery places, treating myself to more washi tape, some flat lay props and a new notebook for a project I’m starting.

I met up with one of my favourite people for lunch – Shelley Wilson from Motivate Me  – and we went to Bacchus Bar. Sitting in enormous chairs that made us look like we were perching on thrones (yes, you may now refer to us as Her Brummie Highnesses), and indulging in a lovely scampi and chips, we talked and talked and laughed and talked and laughed some more. And now my face hurts from all the smiling I did. Continue reading