Proud Moments in February

And just like that, this weird baby month is coming to a close, but its actually been a pretty great one. Its been a while since I did a monthly reflections sort of post, mainly because I prefer to look forward at what’s to come, but February has brought me so many wonderful moments this year that I figured why not look back at some of the things that I’ve been so incredibly proud of this month, and celebrate myself for a change.

Approaching a brand and getting a response

For the first time in my 4+ years of blogging, I took the plunge and contacted a brand that I really wanted to work with. I had no expectations, other than assuming that I’d probably be ignored or shot down, but just sending the email gave me a little boost of confidence because I felt I’d written a great pitch. Well that boost was then completely skyrocketed as I not only got a response, but it came back to me the very next day, and it was the loveliest response I think I could have been sent. Despite not meeting their usual requirements for sponsored work, they said they thought my email was so personal and thought my blog was so bright and colourful that they wanted to send me something anyway, and I’ve been squealing ever since!

Launching the #HappiestFitbitClub

I’ve been sitting on the idea for this for over a year now, but a few weeks ago I put out some feelers on Twitter and Instagram and I got the most amazing response! Now I have over 30 lovely club members who participate every week in my challenges, and I’m blown away by how well everyone is doing. And not only has it been a good motivation for my members, its really challenging and motivating me, and I’m feeling so good because of it! Wanna join? Sign up here!

Getting out of my comfort zone with custom orders

One of my New Years resolutions was to push my sewing skills a bit more this year and get away from just making skirts and accessories. Well, I’ve had some pretty cool custom order requests this month and I’ve got to make some amazing things that have really challenged me, but I’ve had the most fun creating them and I think they’ve turned out so well! Here’s just one of my makes from this month:

Managing at least one meat free day every week

I didn’t doubt my ability to go meat free one day a week, but I did think I would very easily slip up accidentally, but nope! I’ve been enjoying all sorts of different meal options and doing my little bit to help.

Defeating the negative thoughts

I’ve mentioned a couple of times now that I’ve been struggling a lot recently with some pretty strong negative body thoughts, but I bought myself some new swimsuits for my upcoming Aulani trip and when trying them on I actually felt pretty good. Its slow progress, I still have some not-so-good days, but I’m getting my brain and body back to where it should be.

Insta-growing!

Call it luck, call it progress, call it completely random, but I’ve finally been seeing my follower count on Instagram steadily climbing – I’ve gained over 100 followers this month and the number doesn’t seem to be dropping back like it normally does, yay!

Have you had a lovely February, or are you ready for another month to start?

Twitter / Bloglovin/ Instagram

Hello February

Well if it wasn’t enough that we’re in 2018 now, we’re already into month 2, wowzers.. I’ve seen a lot of people on Twitter saying how January felt like it went on forever, and I felt that a little bit but I also have no idea where the time has gone.

It wasn’t the totally stellar beginning to the year that I hoped for; I’ve been ill quite a lot and my mental health has been quite up and down, especially in the last few weeks, plus my family got some bad news this month, so I’ve dropped off the high of the new year buzz a little, but now I’m ready for the fresh start that a new month brings. That said, January wasn’t all blue – we celebrated Matthew’s birthday, had a weekend away in Bath and I’ve been so happy with blogging and my small businesses this month, so I can’t complain about that!

I always think that February is such a funny little month, I mean, its only 2-3 days shorter than any other month but it seems that way. It just seems more manageable, y’know?

Well I plan on filling February with fun and positivity, and here are a few things I’m looking forward to..

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child

I am FINALLY seeing The Cursed Child in London in a few weeks time, eek! I did read the book, so I know how the story goes down, but even that seems like so long ago now that I can’t remember every little detail, and I’m not going to refresh myself so I can experience it all on the stage.

Meat free days

With it being a little bit shorter, I thought this would be the perfect month to put myself to the challenge of doing at least one completely meat free day each week and expand my food repertoire with some more veggie options and dishes.

No more overtime

This Saturday is the last day of overtime I will be working for the foreseeable future, yay! This is despite having said the same thing every few weeks for the last 8-9 months, but this time I mean it because technically I left the job that I’ve been doing the overtime for two months ago, and its been causing me so much stress in the last few weeks that I’m just gonna put myself first and work normal days and normal hours from here on out.

More creations

I’ve launched a brand new product on my Etsy store today, and there are some fab deals and other new products that will also be appearing in the coming week or so, so stay tuned! January was an incredible month for sales and I’m so proud of that, so bring on another month!

Another Instagram milestone, maybe?

After what feels like the longest time trying to get there, I finally hit 2,000 followers on Instagram just under a week ago, and by some miracle I’m already up another 50 from there! I set myself a fairly modest, although still potentially unreachable goal of 2,500 for 2018, but if I keep going like this then maybe February will at least see me at 2,100..

Booking another Disney trip

I have no Disney park trips on the cards for 2018, but January 2019 is gonna be a good’un! DVC home resort rules means that we can book our stay at Disney’s Polynesian resort 11 months in advance, so hello booking time!

A big push for fundraising

On said 2019 Disney trip, I’ll be running my first full marathon, and I’ve decided that I might as well do something good with this madness, so I’ve set up a Just Giving page where you can sponsor me, with the money going to Cystic Fibrosis Trust, a charity very near and dear to me – even if you donate just Β£1 you can help me make a difference, and if you fancy it, click here.

Here’s to a great month!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

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.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

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!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

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.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

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.

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

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!

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram