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

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How to Create Evergreen Blog Content

How to create evergreen blog content

There are two types of content that I usually post on my blog:

Daily Experiences – things I see and do, journal-type notes, general thoughts etc. These posts are generally just for fun – I write them for enjoyment and they keep within the original purpose that the blog was intended for: therapy. I don’t pay much attention to SEO, keywords or images as I know that these sorts of posts will be seen over a period of about a month and then will be considered to be out of date. Essentially, non-evergreen content that has an expiration date.

Evergreen Content – posts that will be generally relevant over long periods of time and aren’t necessarily specific to my own life. Within these I am much more focused on keywords and SEO techniques, I spend a much longer period of time crafting beautiful and pinnable images and I make sure that I link to other relevant posts. I also focus heavily on these sorts of posts across my social media sharing, often resharing them at intervals to give them a boost in promotion at a later date. Continue reading

Laryngitis and a Polygamous Relationship with an Aldi Raspberry Sorbet

Last weekend I felt really rough. I put it down to being hungover after going out with my friend to celebrate her birthday on Saturday night – my failing voice and sore throat was initially thought to have been caused by singing a bit too enthusiastically as I was dancing around, which isn’t uncommon. However, by Monday afternoon I started to feel particularly unwell – hot and cold flashes, sore skin, headaches – and by Tuesday morning I realised that my ‘hangover’ was actually full-blown flu, which was later accompanied by a nasty head cold and a hacking cough that just wouldn’t go away. After spending the week feeling like death-warmed-up I went to the doctors where the genuinely lovely GP took one look at me and said ‘yeah, you’ve got laryngitis – I had it myself two years ago so I know you must be feeling quite poorly.’ I really did – the most poorly I’ve felt in a very long time. Continue reading

Why I’m Stepping Away From #SundayBlogShare

‘You fighting with people on Twitter again I see.’

My bloggy friend sent me a message on Facebook. It’s nothing new – she’s seen me go through this numerous times in recent months…

In Nov 2014 I decided to start a sharing link-up on Twitter for bloggers. It wasn’t an original idea – I’d been participating in #MondayBlogs run by @RachelintheOC (who was and has always been incredibly supportive) for a while and adopted a similar idea, but on a Sunday instead. After searching through different hashtags I decided upon the name #SundayBlogShare as this was something that hadn’t been used before. The invitation was open for any blogger to tweet out their blog links using the hashtag, and then I would retweet them, hopefully encouraging others to do the same. I created a set of easy-to-follow instructions, which was essentially keep it to blog posts only, no etsy, Amazon, inspirational quotes etc and if you’re sharing a link then retweet and interact with others. 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!

Snowmageddon: The Beast from the East

This week the UK has been hit with The Beast from the East and Storm Emma – a week-long heavy snow storm with temperatures falling to well below zero.

I can practically hear my Canadian friends guffawing from across the pond as they shovel the 10,000 feet of snow from their driveways for the third time today.

Schools and hospitals have closed, a Red Warning has been issued, there’s been panic buying in supermarkets, drivers have been stranded, operations have been cancelled… We’ve even had dedicated hour-long news programmes to cover the fact that we’ve had a lot of snow and it’s reeeeally cold. 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

A Massage, Merchandise and Motivation

There’s an awesome quote that appeared on Pinterest a little while ago by Colette Werden:

‘It’s ok if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure that when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire…’

This. This is what I needed to remember last week, and that’s exactly what I did. I’ve got into the habits of doing smaller jobs every day, but this week I was feeling particularly fired so up decided to throw myself at much larger tasks and goals. As a result, my mind feels clearer, my space is tidier, my blog stats are up, I’ve lost 5lbs and I have a whole list of positive things that will be happening in the future (no, I’m not pregnant before everyone starts freaking out). Continue reading