Things I Learned When I Tried To ‘Fit In’

I don’t think there’s a single day that I don’t see some tweet about how someone doesn’t feel like a ‘proper’ blogger because they don’t use a marble backdrop, rose gold props or whatever style is currently being conceived as a ‘typical’ blogger thing.

There’s a number of reasons that these sorts of comments bother me, and I’m not going to get into all of them now, but the biggest one for me is that people think that you have to conform to a particular style to be a blogger. Yes, there’s a bit of a stereotype and a lot of bloggers make jokes about being ‘basic’ or ‘cliche’ but the fact is, its just a popular style and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

In my early years of blogging, I didn’t know much about my own style, or even anyone else’s for that matter, but when I started to discover more of the blogosphere, I started to feel a little bit of a tug to replicate these pretty photos I was seeing all the popular bloggers post. I started brightening my photos, doing more flat-lays and I even made myself a fake marble backdrop. And what happened?

I never used the marble backdrop

After going to all the effort of making my backdrop, it has never actually graced the pages of this blog. I tried, but I realised that it just wasn’t my style and I didn’t want to compromise myself just to look like everyone else.

I discovered more topics that I like writing about

I created this blog original to just talk Disney, but now its so much more than that and I love it. I discovered that I actually really like writing about beauty, even though I never thought I’d be a beauty blogger, and I’ve learned that there are a million other things that I can use this platform of mine to discuss.

Flat-lays are a true art form

And one I have yet to master! You may look at a flat-lay and few products laid out on a nice backdrop but oh my gosh is it so much more? I have so much respect for the bloggers who nail them every damn time, and I aspire to be even half as good as them!

I like my own style, and I like not ‘fitting in’

So I don’t fit the so-called stereotypical blogger style, and I am 100% okay with that. I like bright and colourful and that is me. Blogging is all about being your own person and doing your own thing, and I have known that all along. And yes, I love rose gold and shiny beauty products, and I like marble and pastel and pretty stationary and anything else that makes me a ‘basic’ blogger, so sue me?

I guess what I’m trying to say is that you don’t have to be anything but yourself to be a blogger. A blogger is just someone who has a blog, simple. Love it? Own it.

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Things that Make Me Proud of Myself

I don’t know at what point in the development of society we started to focus more on our flaws than our strengths, but it almost seemed programmed into us these days. It almost seems easier to pick ourselves a part than it is to say nice things, and it feels like if you do look on the positive side of life and do build ourselves up, the fear is that it may look cocky or big-headed. Well that’s just not true.

I am definitely guilty of looking too hard at my flaws, and I think that part of me will always be that way, but there are some things that really do make me feel good about myself and my achievements, and d’you know what? I’m gonna shout about them a bit today.

When I wear an item of clothing that I made myself – or someone else does

When I was a kid all I ever wanted to do was create clothes, and now not only has it become a real hobby, but I’m even starting to make money out of my creations. I frequently wear stuff I’ve made to work and I actually love responding to ‘I love your skirt, where is it from?’ with ‘Oh I made it’.

This amazing feeling is doubled when I see someone else in something I’ve made!

Whenever I hit mile 12

In the last 2 years I have run 5 half marathons, and every single time I hit the 12 mile marker I can’t stop myself from shedding a little tear (or just having a minor cry to myself) because I can’t believe how far I’ve come – and I don’t just mean in that one run!

Being able to pay for something using money I’ve made from my small businesses

Most notably, my car’s MOT was paid for using money made from my Etsy store, as was a lot of the repair work needed. Its such an amazing feeling!

When I think about how much weight I used to lift

It wasn’t that long ago that I wouldn’t pick up a dumbbell more than about 3-kg, and now I don’t think I’d touch one that weighed less than double that. I am so much stronger than I ever thought I could be and that’s pretty amazing.

Comparing my blog stats

I get the same page views in a day now than I use to get in a whole month, and my blog is only growing. This little corner of the internet of mine brings me so much pride, and I still love every day when I can call myself a blogger.

Spread a little positivity, and tell me something that makes you proud of yourself!

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Room For Everyone

I think its safe to say that if you’re connected to the blogging world in any way, you’ve all read or at least heard of THAT interview by now. If you haven’t, here’s the Readers Digest version: a big influencer pretty much called out the whole blogging world for copying her, and said there’s no room for any more bloggers in the world.

Now all thats really happened as a result of this article is that she’s alienated a whole bunch of her following, made herself look bad, and united the rest of the blogging world against this idea, but its raised something that I’d like to share my thoughts on.

Whether you’re talking about the blogosphere, or the small business world, or just general friendships, nothing is mutually exclusive. Reading one blog doesn’t prevent you from reading another, buying from one shop doesn’t mean you can’t buy from another, and gaining a new friend doesn’t mean you have to drop one. The fact is, the more the merrier! It introduces diversity and different points of view; 50 bloggers could review the same product and no 2 posts would be identical. Hell its like saying that just because I already own a whole bunch of highlighters, I can’t buy another!

I design and make things which I sell on Etsy, but if I see something similar being sold by another store and I love it, I’m gonna buy it, because it means supporting someone else’s dream. If I see a blogger write a post that’s similar to one of mine, I’m gonna read it to compare opinions.

We need to stop this idea of competition, and welcome and support one another. The best bloggers are the one’s who engage with others, and I’m always grateful for every like, read and retweet. I’m always going to do my best to be supportive to others and give back to the community that has always been so kind to me.

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Taking Pride In My ‘Flaws’

Photography

So I was thinking, why is it we spend so much time concentrating on what we believe to be the negative aspects of ourselves? Whether its a quirk that the people around us have picked up on, or something that we overthink on a daily basis, we all have ‘those things’ that we internally cringe over. Well I’ve had enough of that.

Towards the end of last year, I wrote a post about putting positive spins on aspects of our lives that we frequently put down, and today I’m gonna share some of my personality traits that I’m gonna start owning, rather than seeing as a flaw.

I’m a know-it-all

I don’t know where it came from, but I’ve always had a ridiculously good memory for facts, figures and information, as well as totally useless things like what I wore to my year 5 school disco. My family have always had to put up with it, and they actually rely on it sometimes, but even the people I work with have started noticing, earning me the nickname of Sponge – I absorb and retain information like there’s no tomorrow.

This almost always works in my favour, but it can be annoying sometimes as I often worry about coming across as a ‘know-it-all’, but in reality, this is in no way a flaw. It meant I did well in school, helps me excel in my job and I’m also a pub quiz BOSS. Win win, I am Sponge.

I have a need to please people

I need to be liked, and I worry constantly that people don’t like me. I doubt I’m alone in this feeling, but here’s the thing: I actually think it makes me a better person. As a result of this, I’m always great at trying to cheer people up when they’re down, or throwing out compliments like sweets at Halloween, and I notice little details (and sponge them up), which mean I get to know people better.

I’m a sensitive soul

I’m really easily bothered by conflict, whether its directed at me or not. I hate seeing other people fall out, and sometimes I genuinely feel like that girl in Mean Girls who just wants to bake a cake filled with rainbows and smiles. I’ve been told that it makes me naive, but there’s nothing naive about just wanting people to get along and be nice to one another – its idealistic, but I hope to God the world gets that way one day.

These are just a few things that I’m gonna start embracing. They are parts of my life and my personality, and regardless of how the rest of the world sees them, I’m gonna own it.

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Things to Remember in 2017

Things to Remember in 2017

Congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’ve survived the first week of 2017, wooo!

As we go further into the new year, I just wanted to give you a few gentle reminders in order to keep yourself feeling positive in your life adventures. You might want to write some of these down so you don’t forget..

You can have that treat

I don’t care how healthy you said you were going to be this year, go ahead and have that slice of cake, order that Chinese food, or take that day off from the gym. Maybe you were going to be better with money – there’s nothing wrong with buying yourself something nice occasionally. Just don’t let doing something nice for yourself turn into guilt.

No one is on the same path

Its so hard seeing those around you achieving things that you haven’t, but that doesn’t mean you’ve achieved any less. No two people’s lives are exactly the same, so there’s no point in making comparisons. You’ll get where you want to go and you’ll kick butt doing it.

Live for yourself

Do what you want to do. Put yourself first sometimes. Learn how to say no to things you don’t want to do. Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle. It’s your life, and whatever you want to do and however you want to do it is just that: entirely up to you.

You can’t predict this whole year

The unexpected happens, and there’s no way to plan for it. Don’t put pressure on yourself if things become out of reach, or if things don’t quite go to plan – your path is ever changing and that’s totally ok.

Listen to the positive stuff

Its so easy to concentrate on the negative things you hear or see, but its time to turn on that selective hearing and put on those rose-tinted glasses, and you’ll notice and appreciate all the nice things that are being said about you.

Everyone breaks their resolutions

I once broke a NY resolution in 2 hours. Yep.. I’m pretty sure they were made to be broken, so don’t worry about it.

I hope this year is great for everyone!

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An Amazing Year of Achievements

Amazing 2016

2016 has not been an easy year for anyone. Its been full of all kinds of worldwide drama and negativity, but now I’m sat here looking back over it, the fact is, its really not been a terrible year.

So many amazing things have happened to me this year, which have made any troubles fade into the background, and while some may not be as major as others, here are some of the incredible things that have happened in my life.

  • I ran my first half marathon – and then my second and third..
  • I went on my first ever non-family Disney tripΒ – my Disneyland Paris trip in April was the first time I’d ever been without my parents and sister!
  • I met some beautiful people – one of my New Years Resolutions was to get out and meet more of my Disney friends, and while I’ve not met everyone, everyone I have had a chance to hang out with have been amazing!
  • I flew solo – my trip to New Zealand in September was the first time I’ve ever got on a plane by myself – kinda threw myself in at the deep end!
  • I drove an automatic car – this one’s a little random, but I’ve never driven an automatic before, and I survived!
  • I stopped blogging for the sake of it – midway through this year, I decided to stop writing posts that I wasn’t 100% happy with. This meant I stopped a few of my old series that were becoming a chore to write, and freeing up more time for new content!
  • I’ve finally visited every Disney park in the world! – ticked the last two off the list with visits to Hong Kong and Shanghai this summer!
  • I hit some incredible blogging milestones – not only did this little blog of mine turn 3 this year, but its been the best year yet by miles! I’ve published just over 300 posts this year and smashed my follower goals on social media, and its so nice to see all these achievements after I’ve put my heart and soul into this blog all year.
  • I started a new business – its always slow progress at first, but I’ve loved creating The Happiest Fitness Co this year, and I have high hopes for the coming year!
  • I left my dead end job – I finally said goodbye to retail after just over 4 years, and found a job that has a lot more opportunities for me in the future
  • I started working full time and maintaining my blog – when I started my new job, one of my biggest worries was that I wouldn’t be able to keep writing as much as I was before, so I’m so proud of the fact that I can work full-time and still post 5/6 times a week!
  • I learned who my true friends are – 2016 has been the year that I’ve come to realise that you don’t have to see people every day for them to be your best and truest friends, and that life’s too short to carry deadweight negative people around
  • I started being creative again – I turned my sewing machine back on for the first time in almost a year, and getting back into making things has made me really happy!
  • I fell in love – it goes without saying that meeting Matthew this year has been the greatest blessing and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world.

I don’t think I’m sad to see the end of this year, but mainly because I’m so excited for 2017 and all the excitement and adventure I know will come with it. In fact, I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a new year in a long time!

Fight the bad 2016 stigma and tell me some of the amazing things that have happened to you this year!

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Positivity Accounts You Need To Be Following

Positivity Accounts

I love Twitter. Its full of amazing people and interesting things, but its also notorious for being a little negative at times.

To combat this, positivity accounts have popped up, with the aim of bring more happiness and cheer to Twitter feeds, and I’ve made an effort to follow a lot of these as their posts always make me smile! Here are some of my faves

Happy Little Thought @HAPPYLTHOUGHT

HLT is the latest account that I’ve followed, but despite being fairly new to the Twittersphere, already seems to have made a huge difference! As well as posting lovely things, they also host a positivity chat, #HLTChat every Tuesday at 8pm πŸ™‚

Positive Strawberry @posistrawberry

Just another super account, PS always posts happy thoughts and great motivation – it never fails to make me smile!

The Girl Gang @thegirlganghq

Founded by the ever-wonderful Jemma, The Girl Gang is just over a year old now and has united so many people in the Twitter world, and is always full of lovely, colourful happy things!

The Bun @APositiveBun

This account is full of happy vibes and self care tips – happy happy happy!

Positive Plant @succulent

More happiness and positivity all round!

There are tonnes of accounts out there, so go get following, and let me know if you have any favourites that I might want to follow!

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