Monthly Favourites : September 2016

monthly favourites september 2016

OH HAI AUTUMN.

I feel like September has basically run up behind me, tapped me on the shoulder and ran away giggling. Y’know what I mean? Sneaky, sneaky September. I can’t believe tomorrow is October. TOMORROW. OCTOBER.

Before we know it it’ll be November and I’ll be turning 27. Twenty-seven. Sheesh.

Anyway, shall we move on? Here’s this month’s fabby things!

starting: my new job! Yep, this month marked the beginning of a whole new adventure working for a wonderful, wonderful assistance dogs charity that partners specially trained dogs with people that have physical disabilities. For the majority of the month, it’s been all about inductions – meeting lovely new people and learning about all the different departments. It has honestly been so interesting and so, so rewarding already.

meeting: Dexter. If you don’t follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you won’t have seen the photos I’ve been posting of my parents new dog, Dexter. He’s a gorgeous Goldendoodle with bundles of character. He’s super sensitive to things at the moment, in particular loud noises (apparently the Golden Retriever trait according to people at work!), but he’s so sweet.

doing: more youtube videos. OK, shameless plug time. Have you subscribed to my channel yet? I’ve been creating Blog Talk videos (tips about blogging) as well as vlogs. Go check it out and let me know what you think or what else you’d like to see.

obsessing over: Tesco Finest salted caramel profiteroles. OMG GUYS THEY ARE SO GOOD. They are like gold dust at the moment as I can only get them from the Tesco’s near Liam’s mums house which is over an hour’s drive away so I better get used to being without them :(.

getting: excited for Autumn! Even though the beginning of Autumn hit me with a cold (damn you immune system!), I do love this time of year. Come at me hot chocolates and chunky knits and scarves.

wearing: boots, boots and more boots. Even though the autumnal weather has taken it’s time to come to fruition, I’ve been all about the boots recently. I love wearing boots, as they add a teensy bit of height without making me cry with pain.

reading: the walking dead. omgomgomg the newest volume of TWD came out this month and it was incredible. It makes me want to read the single issues but also I’m not sure I could handle reading the story in such short bursts, even if they are more regular than the trade paperback. The character of Negan features heavily, and anyone who doesn’t read the comics but watches the show will know Negan as the badass we were introduced to at the end of the last season. ALSO THE NEW SEASON STARTS NEXT MONTH YAY.

learning: to enjoy driving. Since starting my new job, my commute is a fair bit longer (around 40-45 mins compared to my previous 10 mins!). I thought this would be a struggle to get used to, but it’s actually made me appreciate driving more. Mostly because the drive avoids pretty much all traffic and I get stunning views of the South Downs e’ryday.

What’s made your September super duper?

Finding Fun In Vlogging (+ Some Handy Tips!)

weekend vlogging tips

Well howdy there folks!

If you’re subscribed to my Youtube channel, you may have noticed a new video recently. It’s my second ever weekend vlog showing y’all what we got up to last weekend. If you haven’t seen it, I’ve popped it at the bottom of this post for you, cos I’m kind like that.

Anyway, I’ve come to the realisation that I actually quite like vlogging. I’m not quite at the stage where I’m publically vlogging, because part of me still feels pretty self conscious of people staring, but I do enjoy vlogging in the format that I’ve been doing it which is essentially a mixture of me just talking to the camera, me and Liam talking to the camera, and random extra bits of filming thrown in to break up all of the talking.

I don’t think I could ever do daily vlogging – well maybe if I did it as a full time job – but the occasional “hey look what I got up to at the weekend!” seems to be working for me. I don’t even mind that my videos don’t get many views anymore, which was a bugbear for me at the beginning because I was being bratty and all like WAA WAA EDITING TAKES SO LONG AND I’M SEEING NO RETURN.

Yes, editing is still a ballache, but I like that satisfaction of being happy with the finished video. It may not be perfect (in fact, far from it), but it’s a little slice of creativity that I can be proud of. As I’m now at a stage where I actually enjoy creating videos, I thought I’d share a few handy tips on how to find the fun in vlogging if it’s something you want to try out!

Don’t take it seriously

This is probably the biggest lesson to learn when creating Youtube videos. Relax and have fun with it. Don’t be too serious and straight faced when talking to the camera because you’ll probably come across as boring tbh.

I know I don’t always come across as energetic as I’d like to in my videos, and it’s something I want to work on but I do try to add a little personality when I can!

Try, try and try again

When I first decided to have a Youtube channel to supplement the blog, I thought I’d avoid sharing content until I was 110% happy with it. But the fact of the matter is, you will always be critical of your own work.

My videos don’t look professional, and they’re often hella choppy because I have to try and edit out some of ‘ummmms’ and ‘uhhhhs’ as well as repeated words in what I say, but I put them out there anyway and I keep trying to learn from the ‘mistakes’ to create better content. I still have a long way to go, and it does get difficult to improve when you are limited on time to film.

Find inspiration from others

Much like with blogging, it’s important to check out other content creators to get inspiration. I have my favourite Youtubers, and although their videos are nothing like my own, I am inspired by them to try new things and get a better understanding of what people want to watch.

Film with people you trust

Deciding to make videos became a lot easier when I started making them with Liam. It made the content more fun, interesting and engaging to have someone to bounce off of, and it also made me feel less self conscious of vlogging. Now I am happy to whip out the camera and talk at it with Liam around because he won’t judge me, and usually wants to get involved too!

Avoid pressuring yourself

I only ever film a vlog if I feel I’m doing something out of the ordinary with my time. I’m not about to vlog this upcoming weekend because I’ll mostly be lounging about in PJs binge watching Luke Cage on Netflix. Don’t try and force it for the sake of it, because there really is no pressure to be consistent on Youtube. At least not when you’re just starting out.

So there we go, now you may go forth and vlog with glee! If you have a Youtube channel, hit me up with links in the comments as I’m always looking for new channels to subscribe to. You can subscribe to mine here. Oh, and here’s the vlog from last weekend…enjoy!

8 Things People Like That I Just Can’t

things people like that i don't

Sometimes I just don’t get people, y’know? I’m a tolerant person (except for towards those that don’t know how to use their indicators), but there are certain things people like that I just do not get.

Some of the things I’ll list below I have tried to get behind, but no I just can’t do it plz forgive me. Other things just baffle me so much that I cannot conceive the idea of ever even trying to like/enjoy them, in which case they are probably just plain bad and if you like them you should just stop.

Just FYI, there’s a real mix here so they aren’t listed in any sort of order other than the order in which they spilled out of my brain. ENJOY!

The X Factor

OK, so I list this first because it’s what triggered me to write this post. I’m staying at my parents for the weekend, and they watch it every damn year even though it’s way way past it’s peak and they know it.

I had to leave the room when it was on because it’s basically become The Voice (but worse) and the singers just shriek and wail to try and get a ‘seat’. None of them are good. They should all go home.

I used to watch it, back in the day when the auditions were still entertaining. They had a good mix of comically bad and impressively good. But now? NAH MATE EVERYONE IS SHOCKING.

People seem to love it still though – or do they love to hate it? I don’t know I just want it to stop now.

Seafood

So yes, I know I’m not exactly a minority for not being a fan of seafood but lots of people I know seem to love it. It’s one of those things that just makes my skin crawl – whether it’s fish, crustaceans or any form of seafood. Blergh.

When I was younger I used to eat Birds Eye fish fingers (because what British kid didn’t?!), but one day my body and brain was like NO MORE OF THIS THANKS. Since then, the mere idea of seafood makes my skin crawl.

PSL

Oooh Autumn, ooooh Pumpkin Spiced Latte. I get that other people like it and all, but I can’t really get behind it myself. Give me a caramel hot chocolate with a mountain of cream and marshmallows any day of the week. Well, in A/W because in the summer or spring that would just be unnecessarily indulgent.

Blog comment trolling

I’m debating whether to do another post on this because it got me so so riled up the other day. I was reading my favourite blog recently and went to leave a comment, making the mistake of reading other comments that had been left.

Here’s a little taster of the vileness that reached my eye sockets:

“The word gunt comes to mind!”.

SERIOUSLY? What the eff do people get out of being so incredibly cruel in a completely unjustifiable way? I can’t even.

These idiots clearly enjoy themselves as they just keep doing it – even if a blogger (who has every right to do so) decides to delete their comments, they keep on coming back and spreading more bile. GTFO mate.

Beyonce

For real y’all, I don’t get it. I cannot stand her music and really cannot fathom the mass appeal around ‘Queen Bey’. Is anyone able to explain it to me? Can it even be explained? Are my ears just not attuned to her style of music? Am I broken?

Culottes 

What even are these? Cropped wide leg trousers from the looks of it, but they also appear to be some mad phenomenon.

Admittedly, in the OOTD’s that I’ve seen on blogs, the blogger always looks great in them but when I picture myself wearing them it’s all sorts of wrong. I have stumpy short legs as it is and I just don’t see how they would suit me.

Maybe I’ll need to try them on before damning them too much but they just seem so *odd*.

Being professionally offended

If you’re unsure what it means to be professionally offended, it basically means you kick the hell off and flip a table over anything and everything that could be misconstrued as offensive, or that you feel you should be offended by even if it doesn’t effect you in any way shape or form.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t be offended by things that aren’t to do with you, it’s more that you really don’t need to be offended by absolutely everything.

Those that are professionally offended usually take to Twitter to vent in a long stream of tweets about how everyone else is wrong. I don’t see what people like about doing this? Oh yeah….attention.

Soaps

No not that sort of soap, although about 99% of hand soaps flare up my dermatitis so I don’t exactly like them either.

No, I mean TV soaps. I can’t understand the appeal of watching people shouting at each other for up to an hour and Christmas being marked by a death of a character. Have some balls and kill off characters all the time like Game of Thrones – much more fun.

Soaps to me are way more ludicrous than a show starring dragons. Soaps are supposed to be grounded in reality, so why do they keep bringing back characters who died on screen? It’s not like Melisandre is knocking about waiting to do a Jon Snow.

What things people like are there that you just can’t? 

7 Ways To Help You Recover From A Cold

recover from a cold

I have a terrible immune system. I catch every cold/flu going and I tend to rarely just get the sniffles. It turns into a full blown head cold with that crappy run down feeling thrown in for good measure. I hate getting sick, as we all do, but I also get that horrible guilt when having to take time off to recover.

Having had a few days off recently with a cold, I thought I’d turn a negative situation into a useful post. Well, at least I hope it will be useful anyway! So here’s how I attempt to recover from a cold.

Try and prevent it before it develops

Unfortunately I can rarely do this, because my colds just appear out of nowhere like HEY THERE. But as soon as you start to feel a bit run down, I definitely recommend Vicks First Defence. It’s a nose spray that you squirt up your nozzle as soon as you feel any % lower than 100% and it does occasionally work. Hardly a glowing recommendation I know, but it’s worth a try right?

Sleep loads

It’s boring, but necessary. Luckily I sleep like a baby when I’m sick with several naps throughout the day and still a full 8 hours at night too. That is when you don’t have one of those annoying coughs. If you are struggling to get to sleep when sick, I highly recommend making friends with the sofa, a blanket and a marathon of Come Dine With Me or Four In A Bed…trust me, you’ll soon drop off.

Take Nurofen Cold & Flu

OK I feel I need to take this moment to say I’m not being sponsored by any of these brands to promote their products, I just find them useful. Nurofen Cold & Flu tablets don’t get rid of the cold but they do push down that run down dizzy feeling so it becomes that little bit easier to deal with your day. I always take them when I have a cold, but do bear in mind they will literally only work for a limited time which isn’t always necessarily the full duration between doses.

Read lots

Take the opportunity to read your favourite books, magazines, comics or whatever tickles your fancy. Sometimes watching the TV or going on your laptop requires extra effort and energy so curling up under a blanket and partaking in a digital detox is the perfect cure.

Drink loads of orange juice

I know, I sound like my Mum. But vitamin C is super important when you’re under the weather. It makes a nice change from the gallons of water you need to drink to stop your throat and head from hurting, and tastes amazing with ice.

Keep tissues on you at all times

You never know when your nose will turn into a faucet so soft tissues are essential. If it’s doing the opposite, the Olbas Oil inhaler is a godsend too for unblocking your sinuses.

Don’t rush recovery

My final tip is to not try and rush recovery and get back to everyday life until you are better. You’ll soon feel worse and end up having to take even longer to recover.

How To Grow Your Twitter Following

Blog Talk How To Grow Your Twitter Following

Howdy, all! How’s it going? Sorry it was a little quiet around here at the weekend. I haven’t exactly been brimming with blog post ideas, but I am trying to work on that so bear with me!

Anywho, if you’re new to my Blog Talk posts, they are basically an extension of my Youtube series, where I share some tips and my experience with blogging. You can view all of my Blog Talk videos here, if you fancy.

In my latest video I impart some advice on growing your Twitter following y’know, without being an idiot and buying your followers. Twitter brings the vast majority of traffic to my blog, so growing my following is a high priority for me and I’ve had reasonable success over time!

If you prefer to read than to watch, the (extended) tips are below for you…but if watching me blabber a bit with some choppy editing is more your style, I’ve plonked the video at the end of the post!

Tip #1 – Follow people that have similar/the same interests

Well, duh. But still, it’s worth mentioning that the best way to get more followers is to find relevant people to follow who you can engage with. There’s no point in following a bunch of rando’s, as they’re not going to be particularly interested in following you back and engaging with your tweets.

To find these people, use Twitter’s search to type in relevant keywords (e.g. lifestyle blogger), then in the results click ‘Accounts’ and you’ll see accounts that use the keywords in their Twitter bio. Result. I didn’t mention this in the video, but Moz also have a free tool called Followerwonk which makes searching for Twitter accounts even easier.

Tip #2 – Share content other than your own

I feel like a hypocrite here, because I do mostly share my own content via scheduled tweets throughout the day (more on this later), but I don’t always have time to curate other people’s content to share. Be better than me and try and make time for this, as people can get fed up with constant self-promo.

I try and break up my “hey read this post” tweets with random musings, thoughts and happenings on the fly, but I do need to get much better at bigging up other bloggers out there! Retweets are good for this, so if you see something you like, give it an RT!

Tip #3  – Get involved in Twitter chats!

Twitter chats are a great way of conversing with other bloggers, as well as finding new ones to follow! If you’re active in a Twitter chat and share your link at the end of the chat when prompted, you can often see a little (or big) spike in blog traffic. Which is nice. But on top of that, you also find some great reads too!

If you want to find out when Twitter chats are taking place, here’s a super handy calendar from xomisse!

Tip #4 – Schedule posts where you can

Have a blend of scheduled posts when needed, and natural off the cuff posts as well. Variety is the spice of life!

I schedule about five tweets a day most days using Buffer, which is optimised to post when my tweets are most likely to be seen by the most amount of people. Where possible (considering I work FT), I will post between these tweets with non-promo.

You basically want an account that is active, whilst not being entirely automated.

Tip #5 – Join conversations

Don’t be afraid to join a conversation on Twitter. Whether that’s by responding to a tweet, or joining in a group session on a topic if your interest. Twitter should be about community, particularly in blogging circles, so discussion and (civilised) debate should really be what it’s all about – although that’s not always the case!

As well as joining conversations, why not trigger your own? Ask questions, share an opinion that you can invite others’ input on. But y’know, don’t act all professionally offended for the sake of it because drama for drama’s sake is snore.

There we have it – five easy peasy tips on how to grow your Twitter following! If you’d like to follow me on Twitter, find me here. If you want to watch the video, check it out below and feel free to subscribe to my channel too.