Tag: blogging

5 things on my to do list while I’m “between jobs”

Garden leave is quite a strange animal, because technically I’m being paid to do nothing (thank you previous employer), but I feel a bit like I should be doing something.  That’s not to say I’ve been sleeping in most of the day and then sitting on my ass for the rest of it, but I do feel guilty for whiling away portions of time on mindless stuff, even though I’m entitled to take a break and I’m still earning money and paying my bills.

That said, here are some targets I’ve set myself to complete while I’m off. All attainable; some more serious than others!

1 – Get a job

Although it goes without saying, this has to be number one on my list. I’ve been scouring job listings, set up job alerts to be notified of new roles that are of interest to me, and registered with some agencies. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I don’t have to jump into the first thing that comes along, and I want to find a role that is right for me, right for my CV and right for my future, but I also appreciate that “the perfect job” doesn’t exist and I’ll probably need to make some sacrifices.

2 – Give the blog a makeover

This little old corner of the internet has existed in its current incarnation for almost 3 and a half years, and while I’ve remained (fairly) consistent with writing content, I haven’t paid any attention to it’s appearance. A couple of years ago I went self hosted, but it was right around the time my Dad got very sick, and then he died, and I just didn’t have the mental capacity to deal with the new stuff, so I carried on using free WordPress and just let the other subscription lapse. Now I have lots of time on my hands so a shiny new theme is in order at the very least. Also thinking of upgrading to paid WordPress for more flexibility, analytics, etc so any tips gratefully received!

3 – Watch all of the Harry Potter films

Bit of a light hearted one this! I took my sister to Harry Potter World for her 21st birthday back in March and, up until 4 days before, I hadn’t seen 1 film! So I binge watched the first 3 and off we went.

Making of Harry Potter

The visit was magical (I must do a blog post about it) but obviously there were things I didn’t really understand. I intended to watch the rest of the films straight afterwards, but then summer came and time ran away with me. Now is the time to scratch that itch! (I think I may rewatch the 3rd one too, as I got quite confused). I may even read the books as well.

4 – Finishing unpacking from when we moved house

We’ve lived in our house for 15 months now, and we still haven’t finished unpacking. Before you judge me though (I know I would!) for the first 7 months we were squished into a 2 bedroom apartment that was smaller than our old flat while our building work was completed, and then we were so excited at living in our new space after Christmas that we just put it on the back burner! Now, part of me thinks if stuff has been in storage for 15 months and we haven’t missed it then perhaps we just throw it all away BUT some of the bags are full of my shoes, which means it will be like shopping my own wardrobe, which is technically saving money – very important when you don’t have a job! I actually have a partial tick against this “to do” already, as last week I finally sorted out the big bedroom (which used to be the lounge when it was an apartment) – we’ve been lazy chilled out and sleeping in what will be the guest bedroom up until this point. Now we have oodles of space, a king size bed and 3 windows!

Here’s how it looked before (check out the 90s curtains and brass fittings!)

Old lounge

Old lounge 2

And here’s how it is at this moment in time (yes I have a purple leopard and zebra print duvet cover, what’s it to ya?!)

Current bedroom

There’s still stuff to do, like paint the fireplace, change the carpet, and choose the furniture, but it’s good to finally be in there.

Next on the list is the small bedroom (which will be the husband’s music room for all his CDs and guitars) and the utility room which used to be the kitchen.

5 – Go on holiday

Now this might seem like a very indulgent “to do” for someone who isn’t working but, in my defence, it’s been booked since this time last year. And it’s a “special” holiday – to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary. We’re flying to Athens for 3 nights and then to Santorini for a week and I’m super excited.

Santorinilead-xlarge

We’ve been talking about going to Santorini since we got together 13 years ago, so it’s been a long time coming, and it was on a travel bucket list post I shared a couple of years back – Athens was on part two of that list where I pondered combining both destinations in one trip. On the basis of ticking them off, I’ll need to replace them and write a new travel bucket list post, right?

What’s on your “to do” list for the next few weeks?

Thanks, as always, for reading. x

 

 

Friday Feeling [34] – making a (small) difference

Before I had my (unplanned) hiatus from blogging I wrote a post about wearing a bikini (you can read it here).

I think, as women, many of us have insecurities about our bodies and how they look, which are mainly brought on by what we see in the media and the unrealistic expectations we put on ourselves as a result.

So imagine how chuffed I was when one of my followers – Tamsyn from blog Leather and Glitter – tagged me in her instagram honeymoon photos to tell me she’d worn a bikini on her honeymoon BECAUSE OF MY BLOG POST!!!

Wore a bikini

You can probably imagine how amazing that made me feel. It’s such lovely feedback and I really appreciate Tamsyn letting me know, so I could have all the warm and fuzzies.

If you want to see Tamsyn’s honeymoon photos you can check her out on Instagram here (there are no bikini shots though!) and it’s also worth pointing out that she made her own wedding dress, with her own fair hands, which you can also see on Instagram and read more about on her blog.

Have you ever had blog feedback that’s given you that Friday Feeling?

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

One year ago today…

…I got made redundant from a job I’d been in for 9 years.

Even though I was unhappy, and half looking for another job anyway, it was a massive blow. I wanted to do it on my terms, not anyone else’s.

In truth, it’s the best thing that could have happened. It gave me the kick up the ass I needed.

One year ago

Oh, and it was the pre-cursor to me starting this blog, which celebrates one year of existence tomorrow.

So happy “thanks ex employers for doing me a favour” day today!

Keep calm and get a new job

And happy “one year blogging” day tomorrow!

Blog birthday

Thanks, as always, for reading! x

What I look for in a blog

I posted a few weeks back about my experiences of blogging so far, and not having a niche, and lots of other potentially whingy stuff about followers and the like. I’ve seen a few things in the past couple of weeks that have made me revisit those thoughts – not in terms of myself, but in terms of others. What makes other people’s blogs attractive to me.Blog image

The first thing was this post from Misha Khan. I was drawn to it via one of her tweets, and she sums up a lot of what I feel about blogging. It’s the writing that I love, and writing is kind of different to being a blogger. And that’s ok.

The second was a Twitter exchange with Suzie81, based on a post I’d made about it being harder to make a success of a blog (in traditional “success measuring” terms) without a niche.

Twitter screenshot

Suzie commented that I should go with how I feel. Which is exactly what I’m doing anyway, as I can’t do anything else!

And the third was this from fashionbeautyacne, which sums up what I tried to say previously about numbers and followers and whether they’re that important. The answer to that one, I suppose, is what you want from your blog personally.

Niche blogs seem by far to be the most popular. I suppose some people want consistency, and like that in depth knowledge/opinion on one subject.

Me? I’m the opposite. I’m nosy. I want to read about people and their lives, their everyday comings and goings, their thoughts and opinions on everything. Not the fancy “I wore this and went here and received XYZ from such and such PR”. Sure, they’re ok in moderation. But being a bit of a cynical, critical and slightly bitter person (I’m nothing if not very aware of my shortcomings), they piss me off. Do they make me jealous? Maybe! (ouch).

I’m not a model, a clothes horse, a beautician or a professional photographer. I’m too self conscious to pose for photos to share with the world. I’m not knocking anyone that does. But I have too much of the “who do you think you are” mentality to do it myself. Sure, I’ll share pics of myself here and there. But I couldn’t build a blog on it. I couldn’t go to a public place and pull a multitude of poses then add filters and whittle down scores of snaps to just a handful. I don’t have the time or patience. It’s also just not me.

And perhaps that’s the reason I gravitate to blogs that I do. Because humour and experiences are way more up my alley. I like to read anecdotes. What people have been up to. What people think about a current issue (doesn’t have to be deep). Look at pictures of clothes, not 7 very similar perfect pictures of a person wearing those clothes. Read about travels and days out. See real accessible people talking about real accessible stuff, like a bargain lipstick or a new pair of sandals.

Maybe I’m just too old for the aspirational stuff. I’m never going to be flitting around to fancy locations in fancy clothes that have all been sponsored.

But that’s the beauty of blogland. There’s something out there for everyone. And that can only be a good thing.

On that note I’m going to name check a couple of blogs. Both of which I have found very recently, and both of which I genuinely love and look forward to new posts appearing.

Ellen Marie Writes. Lists. Always in 10s. Always brutally honest, with humour and real life language. Love it.

Disasters of a Thirty Something. Real life laugh out loud experiences. I love reading about funny stuff happening to people.

I see a lot of myself in both of these blogs – both content and writing style. Which leads me to believe I’m a blog narcissist. I actually want to read about me! (tongue firmly in cheek here, for anyone not getting the humour).

Oh, and apologies for sounding like a bitch! II’m really not! But I always promised myself that the blog would be true to me, and I like pondering stuff on here. I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts too.