It’s that funny time of year when summer is beginning to fade into the background, but we’re not quite ready to embrace our jumpers and the falling leaves. But fret not, my pretties! I’m going to show you lots of things to help you get over that September slump and help you run into Autumn with arms outstretched. After all, there’ll be a couple of bangers on the barbie in it for you!
Blogging has become an essential tool in the online marketing stakes, and a business website without a blog attached won’t rank as highly as another that does. That’s SEO for you. But a blog that is left unloved for months at a time, or – even worse – empty, is perhaps worse than not having one at all. It looks slipshod and careless, and it reflects badly on your business.
Blogging requires a high level of productivity, and that isn’t something that everyone can manage. Or is it? These seven ways to be a productive blogger will help you break through the blogging block.
Best friends are awesome. They’re there through the ups and downs, buy you ice cream after relationship break-ups and are always there to have a good giggle over a glass of wine and trashy TV. So why not celebrate your friendship with a fun day out for the two of you? Take your bestie on a date that both of you will remember for a long time, with no heartache (and hopefully no hangover) afterwards!
The ultimate in luxury, after all, you deserve it! Make a hasty retreat down to one of the many spas that are nestled away from the bustle of the towns and cities and simply relax for a day where your every need is met. Enjoy massages, get your nails done and lounge in the Jacuzzi exchanging gossip with your best mate. Sheer bliss!
Being the genteel ladies that you are, we know you’d appreciate the finer things in life such as crisp cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and a bottle of fizz. There are lots of vintage tearooms offering afternoon tea all over the country, but for extra glitz why not go to Harrod’s tearoom if you’re in London. Just remember though ladies, pinkies up!
Get dressed up in your finest clothes and take a trip down to your nearest casino where you can spend the night pretending that you’re a Bond girl. You never know, you may even come out with a few extra pennies to spend on martinis – shaken, not stirred of course!
Make Cocktails and Chocolate
We’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like chocolate, so your BFF is sure to be delighted with this combo. There are some great chocolate making workshops out there, and some include cocktail courses too like this one at Virgin experience. Learn to make the chocolates you’ve always dreamed of and wash them down with some tasty cocktails. Sounds like a winner to us.
Ever wished you can go on your very own treasure hunt? Well, you can thanks to geocaching which uses GPS to give you co-ordinates to follow. Lots of major cities have them, including London, Manchester and Lincoln, giving you a great excuse to see the sights while having fun at the same time.
If your BFF likes a mental challenge, how about an escape room? Team up or grab some other friends to form a group to be ‘trapped’ in a room with clues to solve to help you get out. The rooms are becoming increasingly popular nationwide, popping up all over the country so you should be able to find one that suits your tastes.
Gin is the hipster drink of choice at the minute, dusting itself off from years of being dubbed uncool. Grab your bestie, get down to one of the many bars offering tasting sessions and give the coolest drink around a go. Be warned, though, some tasting sessions are so popular that they’re booked out months in advance!
If you’re near London, how about calling on your best friend to go to the cinema. Sound boring? Those guys at Backyard Cinema have created an immersive world for their audience to visit to make the cinema experience more engaging. Enter through a maze of vines and watch a choice of movies in the depths of a temple ruin for a night of surprises.
Go to the races
Horse racing has no offseason, so there is always plenty of choice of meetings to go to wherever you live in the UK. They’re not the stuffy affair you may think they are either, just dress in what you feel comfortable in, make a couple of wagers using your own fail-proof winning system (usually some combination of nice sounding names and pretty looking horses in our case) and have a bit of fun. There are often dedicated race nights in the winter season.
Go on a ghost hunt
Ever wondered if ghosts lurk in the darkest parts of your town or city? How about going on a guided ghost hunt in the area to see if you can find out what goes bump in the night? Or grab your sleeping bags and make a visit to one of the many overnight ghost hunts in manor houses and great halls around the country where you and your bestie can be part of a Most Haunted-style scientific experiment.
Blogging has taken the world by storm and is now one of the most popular hobbies of the millennial generation. With the likes of Zoella and Sprinkle of Glitter opening up new career options that never even existed before, the popularity of a once nerdy activity has reached massive heights. There’re so many different styles of blogs from fashion and beauty to food and lifestyle, fitness and parenting and more!
It was while watching the growth of blogging and continually reading a huge number of different blogs that I decided to start my very own blog! I was no writer, or so I thought, but I was up for trying something a little bit different and new. I’m a bit of an all-rounder because I love to write about fashion, what’s in and out at the moment, current trends, high street bargains and what not. I love to write about makeup and which products I’m loving and hating, finding dupes of high-end products for a fraction of the price and experimenting with new makeup looks. But on top of blogging about all these things that everyone else does, I also have a niche.
My niche topic is my love for gaming, my love for gambling, my love for casinos! Both land-based casinos that I can visit near my native London, or travel the world to find the coolest ones out there, or when time doesn’t permit a trip out, I equally love playing on a casino online. Not only does this give me a niche but it also gives me a huge number of topics to talk about. Rather than just talking about casinos I can talk about different casinos worldwide, share gambling tips, write about James Bond and other casino based films! It opens up a huge variety of new topics for me.
My blog has given me a space to witter on and on about a huge passion of mine without anyone being able to interrupt me or laugh at me. I can share my writings with people who share similar interests to me, they can converse with me about the latest online slot game, we can share cheat codes and tips and of course, through my blog I can make new friends. And yes, while writing about my passion does leave me open to criticism online, there is definitely more of a positive experience from writing on my blog than a negative one!
Starting a blog honestly changed my life, but in the best way possible. I’m so glad I did it, and I would highly recommend that if there’s a huge passion or hobby in your life, you start a blog so you can share it with the world too!
Everyone dreams of one perfect day, and I was surprised at how easily I came up with what mine would entail. I tried to keep it semi-realistic, as much as I would like to fly and win millions, so that I can still hope that one day, maybe this day will come true. We can but hope!
My perfect day would begin at around 10 am, after a lush lie in and lazy morning. I would wake up naturally, rather than being forced awake by a horrible, screeching alarm. Ideally, I’d be somewhere exciting with a beautiful view, perhaps in a nice hotel or a lodge somewhere peaceful. I would be brought breakfast in bed – fresh fruit, pancakes, Mimosas and hot buttered toast – and eat it with the curtains open, looking out at the morning.
I am not hugely high maintenance, but I would love to do something fun and exciting during the day. Perhaps a walk around a zoo, a shopping trip (but not on a weekend, I hate busy crowds in shops!), or a theme park. I’m not really one for lazing about, but I do have a competitive streak, so maybe something like escape rooms, or a scavenger hunt would be cool!
Lunch would be a cream tea, (or perhaps a champagne tea, it’s a perfect day after all!) with delicate sandwiches and lots of indulgent cakes. (I have noticed that a lot of my perfect day revolves around food, but I am not surprised!)
During the afternoon, I would love to go and see a show, probably a musical, or something artsy and pretentious. Everything would go my way – all the traffic lights would be on green for me, I’d find a fiver on the ground, the weather would be perfectly sunny and wonderfully warm.
In the late afternoon, I would go off for a few drinks with friends and some tapas for an early dinner. For most of the day, I’d love for it just to be me and my love, as we never get to spend any time together, however, a perfect day wouldn’t be perfect without spending some time with some of my other favourite humans.
We would then head off home where I’d spend the evening in the living room, cuddled up in a blanket, with the fire on, and a nice cup of tea and biscuits. I’d be on my laptop, playing online slots (which I would win on my perfect day of course!), with the cat curled up beside me and a feelgood film on in the background.
I’d go to bed at a decent hour (for once!) and manage to fall asleep, happy and content after my perfect day.
After a hard day of working at the grindstone, it’s important to take time for you. Life has to be about more than just work, so why wait until the weekend to unwind? I try to do a little something every day after work to relax, and it certainly makes the harder weeks seem a lot less draining. There are loads of different ways to do this, and the trick is finding what is best for you – I like to do a combination of them all, especially when things get super tough!
Whether you go out for a nice meal, or just eat take out in your PJs, food has the power to make anyone feel better. As the winter months approach, I like to leave a stew in my slow cooker during the day so that when I come to eat it, the whole house smells delicious and it just needs putting in a bowl and enjoying! I also try to keep a few sweet treats in the house for those days when nothing but chocolate or ice cream will do. Food doesn’t just have to be about fueling your body for the next day; it can be a celebration and a social event and a great way to unwind.
Choose your poison. Whether it’s a hot, sweet cup of tea, or something much stronger, keep emergency supplies in the house. The cheap wine in our house is for average days, but if the day has been extra stressful, or we have something to celebrate, a pricier bottle comes out. You could always rustle up a cocktail if you’re feeling fancy.
If you’re a gym bunny, sign up to classes for after work, or if you’re a film buff, make a date to see the latest film. It doesn’t have to cost a lot, you could even just go for a walk or a bike ride, but sometimes just doing something a little different, and breaking up the routine is a great release. It’s easy to get into a habit where you come in from work, eat your dinner and watch TV until bedtime. Every night. This is a recipe for feeling like all you do is work and can be quite disheartening. At least a few nights a week, I try to do something a little different, although of course there is pleasure in doing nothing sometimes too! Balance!
There’s nothing more relaxing than the sanctity of your own home. Turn on the heating, take a hot bubble bath, cover the place in candles (don’t forget to blow them out!), and give yourself a pamper! Use those bath sets that you were saving for a “special occasion”, and go all out – you deserve it! I find fresh bedding, and new pyjamas are the dream and easily turns a frown upside down.
The most important thing is to avoid thinking about/doing work if you can help it. Bringing your work home with you, while often unavoidable, is not healthy and will make you feel like you are always working. Take up a new hobby, reinvigorate your social life or just enjoy some self-indulgence.
Blogging has taken the world by storm, and it seems if you’re not writing one by now, you’re definitely reading one! We all know about the Zoella’s and Tanya Burr’s of the world, but who else writes a fab blog? Here’s a list of my all-time favourite bloggers.
Cattitude and Co.
Tara, the face behind Cattitude and Co., is an utterly amazing person. Her blog is all about female empowerment, period talk, positive body talk and everything else that is usually made explicit by mainstream media. She isn’t afraid to say it how it is and absolutely rocks at it!
Vix’s self-titled blog is one of the best blogs around – she is a hysterical individual and isn’t embarrassed about anything (or so it seems!). She speaks very openly about the dating scene, interacting with the opposite sex and also runs an advice column about dating and relationships.
Love from, Florence Grace
Florence is an ambitious individual, and this really comes through in her blog as she writes all about feminism, being a girl boss and how to achieve your dreams. She also reports very bluntly and openly on current issues – in fact, she’s been compared to “Katie Hopkins but better”.
Jemma of Dorkface is so sweet, so creative and a total star when it comes to blogging and social media. She’s done so well with her blog she’s even been able to create her own community – The Girl Gang. She also has her own business, designing and selling super cute prints and stickers, which are always in high demand!
The Lilac Scrapbook
If you love poetry, bees, or very emotional takes on very real life situations such as mental health issues, then you’ll love Katy’s blog, The Lilac Scrapbook. Katy has a charming way with words so that even when she’s talking about something quite sombre she manages to make it an enjoyable read without losing the point of what she’s saying.
One of the most successful entrepreneurs I have ever stumbled across, Lauren from Blonde Vision is an event planner/organiser. Her job takes her all over the globe and has also lead to her setting up a blogging events group which has hosted a huge number of successful events, including holidays to Ibiza and Centre Parks!
Girl Gone Dreamer
Justine from Girl Gone Dreamer is one of the most supportive bloggers there is. Not only does she produce her own superb content but she takes the time to share the content of many other bloggers too, making sure everyone sees them in the same brilliant way that she does! Her book reviews have left me with a to-read list that is miles long!
Everyone has those essential items that they use every single day, take everywhere with them and repurchase all of the time! Here are 10 of the things I absolutely can not live without!
I love them! Not in an alcoholic way, but in a “hey, it’s Friday, let’s drink to that!”. Anything from a classic cosmopolitan to a dirty martini (shaken, not stirred) is fine by me! Here’s a list of some of my favourites.
I love music, especially when it’s so good it just makes you want to get up and dance, no matter where you are or what you’re doing! (This can be slightly problematic on the bus to work but hey, who cares?)
How can you play drinking games without a good old deck of playing cards? Cards are used in so many different games; drinking, blackjack, poker… I couldn’t turn up to a party without my trusty pack of cards!
Of course, it’s kind of obvious that no one can live without money, but I am such a shopaholic that it would be impossible for me not to earn a millionaire style wage every month – let’s hope I get there one day, hey?
My high heel collection is fairly impressive and is always growing too! I have a pair of heels for literally every occasion, in every kind of height, texture, colour and pattern. There’s nothing to make you feel more like a total glamour puss than a good pair of high heels.
Mood lighting is everything, and I love to light my room up with cute, novelty shaped fairy lights! I always opt for battery-powered ones so that I don’t have to put them wherever a plug socket is – I can drape them wherever or even fill big glass bowls, jars or bottles with them to make some creative interior design.
I take my iPod with me everywhere – if I’m walking somewhere, I’m walking with my iPod. If I’m using public transport, I’m taking my iPod. If I’m at the gym, I’m using my iPod. I love music so much, and my iPod allows me to listen to it all the time, whenever I like. I couldn’t live without it!
I’m a little bit of a social butterfly and need to be connected to the rest of the world at all times, meaning my mobile is always glued to the palm of my hand. Ironically, I use it more for social media than for anything actually phone related…
How the heck do I get to watch so many good films whenever I like if I don’t have Netflix? I’ve also found so many hidden gem films on there too, proper ‘indie’ ones. It’s so worth the small fee of £6 a month. Couldn’t be without it!
After a long night of partying or an even longer day at work, there is nothing better than coming home and changing into a super cosy pair of pyjamas. I have way too many pairs, enough for every day of the week at least!