Hey up pals. It’s a Wednesday evening and I’ve finally started watching Sons of Anarchy. So far, I’m digging it – it’s a little bit dark and twisty and feels like something I can happily waste from now until December watching. It’s also freezing and I’m wrapped up in approximately 3 blankets and a dogContinue reading
Can you think of a better way to spend a Saturday surrounded by lovely bloggers, eating a ton of cake and chatting all things blog? Well this is how I spent last Saturday and I had a fabulous time. I attend the West Midlands Blogger Meet ran by the lovely Kirsty and Adele over at Pretty Lovely Bloggers.
With it being my first event it was safe to say I was nervous but I was so excited to meet other bloggers. Around six of us met before the event for breakfast and I was so glad we did. I met up with Charlotte, Charlee, Emma, Catherine, Shaun and Chenelle. We headed to Yorks Bakery Cafe in Birmingham which fulfilled all our Instagram dreams The food was lovely and the company was even better. It was lovely getting to know each other around breakfast and talking all things blog.
We headed over to the event and it was fantastic what Kirsty and Adele had done. The event was held at the Rainbow in Digbeth, Birmingham and it had such a lovely atmosphere. There were tables set up for the brands, where you could just go over to them and have a chat. Two of the brands I fell in love were EarlyBird Snacks and Skin Sincere. Both lovely ladies at the stands spent ages chatting to us about their brands. I can’t wait to try their products! There was also plenty of cakes, snacks and drinks to try.
The girls had organised 2 guest speakers to speak to us at the event. Elizabeth from Rosalilium spoke to everyone about the importance of incorporating your blog with Pinterest and how to make your Pinterest successful. It was a complete eye-opener on the little things you can do to improve your Pinterest. I’m spending this week completely overhauling mine to make it more towards my blog and hopefully it’ll generate some traffic. Our second and final talk of the day was about knowing your audience and what you can offer brands as a blogger by the wonder Chelsea from Loving Life in Wellies. It was insightful and encouraged us to think about trying to be a little different.
There was also a raffle at the event where brands had provided some amazing prizes. DegustaBox, Prairie Charms and Blogger Hangout, as well as other brands, all provided prizes. Unfortunately, I didn’t win but well done to everyone who did! When we left, Kirsty and Adele handed out the biggest goody bag I’ve ever seen. It was a tote bag FULL of goodies as well as a Lush goodie bag. Once I was home and rooted through it, i’m pleased to say it’s all stuff I’m going to use too!
It was safe to say I had an amazing time at my first event. I met some wonderful girls (and Shaun!) who really made my day fantastic and it was brilliant getting to know them. I can’t wait for the Christmas event at the end of November!
This is one of my favourite posts to write.
I love spreading a little bit of happiness in the world. One of the things that really makes me feel good is making other people happy, it really makes the world a brighter place. One of the ways I do this is I write a post on my favourite blogs that I’ve either discovered or loved that month. It’s pretty simple really.
So, who have I loved this month?
My best friend Anna runs this blog and I love it. Anna’s worked in the blogging world since we graduated from University and moved down to the Big Smoke three years ago (seriously, where does the time go?) She took the plunge and decided to write about what she loved. In our long phone calls, she always tells me what she’s up to in London life and now shares them with you guys on her blog. We’re due to be reunited in a few weeks so look out for my post about my weekend in London as we’re off to the Cake and Bake Show and to see Wicked. So, if you’re a Londoner or heading down to London and fancy doing something a little different, her blog is worth a look!
I discovered Teri’s blog this month after speaking to her numerous times in different chats. I find reading her blog a breath of fresh air. She writes about lifestyle, beauty and shares the odd recipe. She’s recently made me very aware about the importance of cruelty free make up. I’m an avid animal lover and it’s something that I’m making a very conscious effort to buy animal cruelty free products. If you need some direction on where to look, it’s worth checking out her blog.
She makes me hungry at least twice a day with her fantastic reviews and wonderful photography. She’s my queen foodie. Her blog also features the occasional lifestyle and fashion post. Again, if you’re a Londoner and looked for a new foodie haunt, I’d recommend her blog!
Louise’s blog focuses on lifestyle, living her dairy free life and her love for candles. I’m on the search for some autumn/winter scents and her blog has helped me made a few choices (thanks babe!). With a healthy mix of lifestyle and showcasing the North of the UK – her blog is lovely, lovely read. Also, if you’re a big Black Milk fan she’ll be your kind of girl!
Is there any blogs I need to check out that you guys have been loving? I’d love to know!
There’s one thing I really struggle with being a dog owner and that is the attire. I remember my Mum always coming home and showing me her new ‘dog walking’ coat when I was younger. I’d always think to myself, ‘Why do you need a specific coat for dog-walking?’ Well, have you ever tried wearing a practical but nice outfit walking around a National Park? It’s really hard! You need enough pockets for treats and poop bags, you need sensible footware for trundling around forests chasing your hound away from mud puddles but something nice enough for a cake and a coffee afterwards.
Don’t get me wrong, when I take Rufus for his morning walk, I literally chuck anything on. I’ve walked the morning walk in my traccies and dresses with trainers (don’t kill me fashion blogging world), but I feel for days out or autumnal afternoon walks, you kinda do have to make an effort. Rufus is already a scruffy looking hound and I don’t want people to go, ‘Oh she looks like her dog.’ So, I’ve put together my wish-list for dog momma wardrobe
You can easily tell I am in love with stripes and navy this season. I’m a girl who’s wardrobe consists of black, grey and navy so this goes perfectly. Dog walking is one of my favourite things about having a pooch so I love to feel comfortable. I’ve come to realise in nearly 25 years that I love bright colours on everyone else except me. I’ll always be a lover of neutral colours and that’s OK.
I’ve added both converse and wellies into this wishlist. Converse are the least waterproof things in the world but you cannot go wrong with a pair of classic white. I’d wear these if I was taking Rufus on a walk to our local village where it’s all paved and he’s not off his lead. If I was taking him off-road and we’d be going round a forest or it was raining, I’d whack on these wellies for total protection. I think Joules do some of the cutest designs and I’d love a pair of funky wellies. Not to mention they’d be ace if it snows and I’ve got to walk to work!
My Mum taught me one important thing about being a dog momma and it was to own a sensible dog walking coat. She said have something with lots of pockets, waterproof, a hood and long enough to cover your bum because I will fall over when Rufus wants to go out in the snow. There’s a few times where I’ve walked Rufus in my leather jacket and I’ve fumbled about for treats and poo bags and he’s pulling trying to chase a pigeon. It’s a nightmare. I spotted this coat and I’m in love with this Joules polka dot one. It covers my Mum’s dog walking coat list and it looks gorgeous. I really can’t wait to get my hands on it.
This is probably the least most practical thing on my list but it’s wonderful and I need to buy it immediately. I love, love, LOVE Radley and they are my favourite brand. I’ve got huge brand lust after them. I’ve been spying on this backpack for a while now and it’d be wonderful for putting all doggy related things in as well as my purse and keys. It’ll also be super practical when I want to take my laptop with me. I’m a multi-tasking dog momma I’ll have you know! If anyone can find me a lot cheaper alternative, then please let me know.
Is there anything I’m missing fellow dog walking chums? Or anything I must have to be stylish yet practical dog mum?
As well as looking up reviews, recipes and having a good old nose at people’s lives, the bloggesphere is such a wonderful place at making me feel less alone. I’ve said time and time again that I love speaking to every person who has entered my life since starting Blogger & The Geek. It’s wonderful having a close community and a group of girls I can call my friends. I also think it’s a wonderful place to discuss things which aren’t usually discussed, such as mental illness. It’s amazing how brave people have come over the past few months and opening up on their illnesses and darkest thoughts. I’m a very very lucky lady who suffers with no mental illness issues, however, I share my life and my home with someone who does. I haven’t found many posts that offer any help or share their experience for the people who are trying to be the supportive friends, family members or partners.
My boyfriend suffers with depression and I’ve known this since day one. It’s been an ongoing battle he’s been fighting for years and it’s a battle I’m fighting as well. Before I met him, I knew very little about mental illness and had no idea on how to help someone or live with it. So, when I experienced his first ‘down’ period it was a total game changer for me. I’ve spent many hours of our relationship in tears or worrying about him. I completely adore my boyfriend; he’s the funniest, warmest and most loving person I know, but, when his depression gets on top of him, he becomes withdrawn, uninterested in life and keeps himself to himself. He’s the complete opposite and it’s really difficult for me to get my head around. I used to loose my temper with him or get upset thinking that I caused a down period. Luckily, now, we’re in a much better place and we know how to get through the down periods. These are the 3 biggest things that help me.
Understand it’s not your fault or nor theirs
This is one I really, really struggled with. I won’t lie to you; 19 year old Becky was a bit pants, dramatic and insecure when The Geek was going through a down patch, I’d often blame myself and rack my brains trying to think what I’ve done. I’d then realise that I hadn’t done anything then just think he’s a bit of a knob for making me feel crap and feeling crap about nothing. I struggled with the concept that his down periods were different to mine. My down periods are usually very circumstantial and I can pin point exactly what’s caused it. I didn’t understand that he just felt like crap and it was part of his mental illness. I only truly understood it when I messed up my pill and spent Boxing Day morning crying in bed, and then I cried more because I didn’t understand why. So, in my confusion, I made up an argument so my boyfriend didn’t think I was loosing the plot. I wasn’t until he figured it out and said to me, ‘This is how I feel when I feel down’ did I realise what he goes through. With this little change in perspective, whenever the Geek tells me he feels like pants I remember it’s part of his illness. I remind myself that I wouldn’t blame myself or him if he had the flu. I occasionally struggle with this if I’m stressed but, I gotta breathe and remember; it’s neither of our fault.
Escaping from the world isn’t a bad thing
I’m a firm believer that if something is making you feel sad then you need to fix it or face the problem head on. Unfortunately when it’s an illness this tactic doesn’t really work. My boyfriend tends to escape to his computer when he’s feeling down. We generally do spend a lot of our time doing our own thing but as mentioned before, he’s pretty unresponsive when he’s in a depressive episode. So when I’m sat down blogging or doing my own thing and I wasn’t being spoken to, it’s safe to say I used to get pretty mad and end up leaving. I used to think, ‘How can you just play games instead of fixing your life?’. I’ve learnt now that although he wants to slay dragons and things, he does want me sat there as he feels less alone. Since having Rufus, when I’m out with friends and he’s feeling pants, having a dog potter about our home has really helped. Dogs really help you feel less alone.
I used to feel incredibly alone with my inability to deal with my boyfriends illness. I felt I couldn’t speak to anyone about how crap I felt or how I was struggling because they’d think of me as a monster of a girlfriend. I didn’t feel comfortable opening up and asking for help. Nor did I want to tell my boyfriend I was struggling and I didn’t understand at all. I felt as if I was trying to save a sinking ship. One day, the world kinda got on top of me and I spoke to a friend about it who told me they experience the exact same thing. They encouraged me to speak to my boyfriend about it and I asked him for tell me when he feels really depressed so I knew not to take things personally. I can’t express how much it helps him saying that one sentence. It saves on arguments, my state of mind, his state of mind having deal with diva me.
I’m by no means a health care professional or an expert in the field. This is simply what works for my boyfriend and I and helps with our war on depression. It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever dealt with and have had to try and understand but it’s really opened my eyes to mental illness and how difficult it is for the sufferer and how lonely it can make you feel. If you really are struggling there are some fantastic charities out there who can offer help MIND provide an amazing list of how to help people who are in my situation and I wish 19 year old me found it sooner.
I’ll leave it on a final note: remember that you’re not alone and so many people are willing to help.
I’m getting to that time in my life where I’m attending more and more weddings. It’s not just weddings for family members as more recently my friends are tying the knot and I’m getting an invite to spend the day with them. I’m also getting to an age where I’m thinking more and more about marriage and that it’s naturally the next step for The Geek and I. We’ve been together for 5 years and it’s been a subject we’re talking more and more about. The boy just needs to be able to cough up for a ring, whisk me off to New York and ask me outside of Chuck Bass’ hotel first!
So, when I got an e-mail from The National Wedding Show*, I jumped at the chance to go! Me & my best friend are going along on the Friday and it’s going to be super fun! Not playing to the rules, he’d definitely be one of my bridesmaids as we’ve been best friends since we were 16. He’s the one person who thinks exactly like me so it seemed fitting he comes along to plan my imaginary wedding!
The fab people at the National Wedding Show have also given me a pair tickets to give away to one of you guys! So, whether you are actually planning a wedding or just fancy looking at pretty dresses and eating cake for a day, then, enter! Don’t worry, if you are not a lucky winner, you can still book in advance and save up to £5 off the door price. To book, visit www.nationalweddingshow.co.uk or call the ticket hotline on 0844 874 0486.
Even with nothing in the pipeline yet, it’s going be fabulous to see what I could potentially have one day. From looking at beautiful dresses, tasting cake, looking at gorgeous venues and suit shopping. I’m honestly very very excited to be a part of it! I’m also excited to see if there’s any dog-friendly venues in the West Midlands so I can potentially have Rufus as my ring-bearer.
Good luck if you enter the competition and let me know if you are attending on the Friday! I’d love to pop by and say hello!
- The giveaway is open from the 11th September – 24th September 2015
- The winner will be announced on the 25th September. I will pass the winners details to the National Wedding Show for them to contact
- Please make sure you’re able to attend. It’s between the 2nd – 4th October 2015
- You will need to follow all accounts and BlogLovin when the winner is drawn
- The winner has 24 hours to make contact once announced otherwise I will announce another winner
I’m doing a little bit of a different post this weekend. I’m focusing it on the #BloggerBoxSwap that Ren & I set up a few weeks ago. We’re completely overwhelmed and proud of how it’s come together and how excited our fellow bloggers are about it. The idea of the #BloggerBoxSwap is that you buy another blogger who you’ve been paired with £10 worth of gifts and goodies and they’ll do the same for you. It’s a fab way to make a new friend and spread some sunshine in the world.
With the limit being £10, it can be hard to buy a few gifts for it. I’ve put together some ideas where all gifts are under £10 if you are running low on inspiration.
1. MUA Lipstikck £1 2. MUA Nail Varnish – £1 3. Yankee Candle Tartlet – £1.50 4. Haribo Small Pack – 15p 5. Ohh Deer Postcard – 75p 6. Breaking Bad Pencils – £3.95 7. Lush Ickle Baby Bot – £1.95 8. Hobbycraft Wooden B – £2
There’s some really lovely items you can get for a couple of pounds including some blogging favourites like Ohh Deer and Lush. It’s also worth looking in independent Etsy stores too as there are some bargains there!
I can’t wait to see what everyone is going to get in their boxes. Are you all excited?
The Geek & I went to visit his family for August Bank Holiday as it was his Mum’s birthday. It can be pretty difficult going to Lincoln with Rufus as one of his Mum and Dad’s dogs really dislike him. The weekend can consist of sleepless nights and lots of woofing. As a little escape, we popped Rufus in his pen and went to Lincoln’s new waffle house, Madame Waffle, for a much needed date afternoon!
Madame Waffle has taken over the former Appletree in the middle of Lincoln’s high street. The place has been completely renovated and when I first walked in, I already gave it points for it’s lighting. The Appletree used to be pretty dark but even when we sat downstairs in the basement, I still read the menu!
Considering it only serves waffles, the menu was pretty big! Not only do they do dessert/sweet ones, they also do savory waffles. I was tempted to try one but the Geek talked me out of it so I went with the Bannoffee Waffle whereas he created his own chocolate and banana one. I have to say, considering I’m the girl who’ll eat a cheeseboard over a chocolate cake, they were delicious! The waffle was super light and airy. There was enough topping on it to cover the whole waffle and right amount of sauce.
Another month has passed and we’re now entering September. It’s really crazy that summer is almost over and we’ll soon be wrapped up in jumpers and chunky boots. Being totally honest, I can’t wait. I’m not really a summer bird and I’ve not enjoyed it this year as I haven’t been away. Totally selfish but completely true.
So, what have I been up to and loving this month? The Geek & I have been on a few roadtrips this month. We’ve been to Broadstairs, Lincoln and London and we’ve had a fabulous time. Considering it’s been quite a poor month for us (sob), we’ve made the most of it. September is set to be even more fun; I’ve got my first ever blogging event in London where I finally get to meet Ren. I’m feeling all the excite and nerves but at least I’ll know one friendly face when I go! I’ve also got the #WestMidlandsBloggerMeet a few days later. I’m even more nervous about that one as I will literally know no one!
Before I ramble more about September, here’s what I’ve been loving this month:
- Broadstairs Folk Week
The Geek & I headed on a roadtrip down south for our annual trip to Broadstairs in Kent to see two of our friends who recently moved down. We armed the car with the Macbook and had car-eoke all the way down. I love going down to Broadstairs; it’s a gorgeous seaside town and the atmosphere at their yearly folk festival is wonderful. It’s full of Morris dancers, different types of food and clothes stalls and everyone is drinking beer and listening to music. We stayed for a long weekend where we got drunk, ate like kings and queens, had a crazy water fight and just chilled out. Sounds fabulous right? The only 2 bad things of the weekend was it was our first full weekend away from Rufus which resulted him in ignoring us on Sunday night and The Geek bounced the wrong way off a space hopper and is now awaiting physio!
The Geek & I also went to London this month to take part in the London Tube Treasure Hunt for one of our friends birthday. I found the deal on Travel Zoo and off we headed to the capital for the day. We were competing with 25 other teams and were given a sheet of paper with our task. It was full of anagrams, photo challenges and all sorts! We had to get a photo of each correct destination and had 2 hours to complete it in. It was hilarious yet knackering. We were running as fast as we could through each tube station trying to snap photos and convince strangers to sit together and smile. If you are ever looking for something a different in London, I fully recommend it.
This is probably my favourite thing of the month. Ren & I got together and decided to try our hands at creating a box swap for bloggers. It’s something I’ve always really wanted to do but I found the majority were predominantly beauty. Within a few hours, we came up with the #bloggerboxshare. It’s been hugely popular and I can’t wait to see what people are going to receive in their boxes. Another reason why I have loved it so much is that I’ve been getting to know Ren so well. She’s one of the first real blogging friends I’ve made since starting Blogger & The Geek and I can’t wait for us to work together some more!
I picked up these little delights for The Geeks’ mums birthday at the weekend. She’s got 2 beautiful dogs; a westie and a westie/scottie cross who fill up The Geek household. I came across WellBred Design on Not On The Hightstreet and fell in love with them. I ordered her the Scottie and Westie prints and they are just the cutest. Despite the picture I’ve taken they are really, really high quality and any dog loving person would love one. I’m hoping to get a snap of them once she has put them up! I think they’d look ace in her hallway, I really want them to make one for a Tibestie but they aren’t a popular breed as of yet. Maybe one day they will!
5. Apple Music
Apple Music is possibly the best thing I’ve signed up for in a while. My office is really, really quiet and you can hear EVERYTHING. With people being off over the summer, it’s really lacked some atmosphere. I’ve signed up to the 3 month trial and I’ve found I’m 100% more productive sticking my headphones in and having a good sing song in my head. It’s also getting me back into music. I was a total music head when I was 15/16 and always had my headphones glued in my ears. As I learnt to drive and started working ten minutes away, I just listened to the radio and just sort of stopped listening. I Apple Music has pretty much everything so I can listen to new artists on there and with no adverts, it’s pretty amazing.
One of the best parts of blogging is sitting down with a cup of tea whilst reading and connecting with other bloggers. Since starting Blogger & The Geek I’ve connected with so many different people and made a few friends. It’s opened up the door to some of my new favourite blogs too where I’ve found to be super reliable when I need ideas, reviews on products.
Tore’s the queen of finding a bargain. I’m guilty of watching Youtube and reading blogs where people are reviewing ridiculously expensive products thinking, oh I’d love that, and then never buying it because I can’t justify the price tag. If there’s a make up product I like the look of, I usually then wander to Tore’s blog to see if she’s found the dupe for half the price. My favourite find of hers has been her MAC Velvet Teddy dupe, which I can safely say is amazing. I’m also besotted with her Cairn cross, Hector, who is adorable!
Wanna see a beautiful red head talk about beautiful things with amazing photography? Sarah is your girl. I’ve been following her for around a month or so now and I love everything. Her blog is a mix of lifestyle, beauty and fashion. She talks about really different subjects like why diets will never work. She offers a refreshing outlook on things and I love it!
Ren is one of my blogging chums on the Bloggersphere and her blog is one of my favourite and most unique out there. She offers advice on every day things which one day we’re all going to experience. Whether it’s applying for a job, going through something tough in your life or just needing a little motivation. In a blogging world full of beauty reviews it is refreshing finding a blog that’s unique
I found Lauren’s blog months before I started blogging and I fell in love with her and her life. When I logged onto BlogLovin a few months later I found out she was expecting her first child. I feel as if I’ve watched Lauren grow and develop and it’s been a wonderful experience. She’s beautifully honest on her blog and she’s one of those people who I have just become invested in. Not in a creepy stalker way though.
So, I recommend you check these 4 babes out. I’m hoping to do this series every month. I love reading new blogs and making new friends so if there is any blogs you recommend I check out, please let me know!
I guess the first thing I owe you all is an apology. Firstly, for the lack of posts on my blog and the last post I did was just advertising something Ren & I conjured up. Secondly, for the lack of Twitter chats/blogging involvement. Y’see, I’ve fallen in the trap of, ‘I have no time and something has to give’, which, unfortunately has been my blog.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my blog. I love what I’ve achieved in such a small amount of time. I love the friends I’ve made and my close knit community of bloggers who make me laugh on a daily basis. I feel real crappy that I’ve let it slide. I think about my blog about 90% of the time, whether it be posts or scrolling through Twitter or Bloglovin. I really really do love Blogger & The Geek. It’s never far from my mind. Unfortunately though, I’ve had to let it slide as my job, my family, boyfriend and puppy come first. It’s super sad but it is true.
People who don’t blog have no idea how much time it takes. It’s not as easy as whacking a post out, taking a few snaps and hitting the publish button. You gotta plan your content, write it, edit it, take some decent photographs whilst praying the weather will be fine, schedule tweets, take part in Twitter chats. It takes up a huge part of your day and I have to balance that with being a girlfriend, daughter, dog momma, employee, friend and tenant. I mean, looking at my day today, the only time I had to blog was at 11pm at night. When I finished work at 5, I had to go food shopping, then walk the dog and then I spent an hour trying to sort out my car insurance. Before I knew it it’s 8:30pm and I was due to visit my Mum & Dad. Its all these real life activities which get in my way, but, I need the car to work to buy pretties for my blog, I need food to blog and well, my Mum is my best friend so I always need to see her! I mean, by the time I finish this post I need to prep tea for tomorrow, have a shower and go to bed. I really wish I started blogging as a student when I was only in lectures for 8 hours a week, rather than being at work for 8 hours a day. It’s hard work and sometimes, it all gets a bit too much.
I’m sure, most people as bloggers, know exactly what I’m talking about. Trying to balance a blog which you’re trying to build yet still be every other role under the sun. I suppose what I’m trying to say is if you have a little patience with me, I’ll soon be back on track. I’ve received some really exciting e-mails this past week so there is some amazing stuff in the works! I’m gonna spend my next free weekend drafting and scheduling as much as I possibly can. I NEED to get ahead of myself to make it work and keep up one of my favourite things in life.
So, if you have any tips on how to balance my hectic life style or would like to be my personal life coach, please do share them with me. I’m drowning a little and could do with some help.