This Month On The Blog!

img_1380

The nights are slowly starting to get shorter and the days are gradually stretching out and growing in minutes and before we know it Spring will have well and truly sprung, but until then I have all these posts lined up for you…

  • Recipe of the Month
  • Monthly Goals
  • Hygge – What is it?
  • A-Z of Date Ideas
  • Why I Love Blogging
  • Upcycle Project – Fake Flowers
  • The Art of Thrifting
  • My Favorite Outfit for Spring

I hope you will enjoy reading these posts as much as I have enjoyed planning them and putting them together!

Advertisements

Top 10 Things I Should Be Doing…

img_1377

Today’s Top 10 Thursday post is a list of things that I should be doing but keep putting off for one reason or another…I’m sure we have all got a list like that?

  1. Making an eye test appointment.
  2. Sorting out Spare Oom (aka Narnia).
  3. Dusting.
  4. Meal Planning.
  5. Sorting through all my make-up and cleaning out where it is stored.
  6. De-brambling the garden.
  7. Fixing my printer.
  8. Running a backup of all my laptop files and photos.
  9. Tidying my desk/”office space”.
  10. Shopping.

Instead, I’m making a list of these things whilst sitting in my pyjamas and blogging about it.  And in a minute i intend to make myself a coffee and catch up on blogs whilst wrapped in my blanket!

Blog Milestones Worth Celebrating?

img_1669

I’m not far off hitting a blog milestone – 100 followers… I currently have 87 followers (Thank you to each and every one of you!) and it got me thinking about how I’d like to celebrate reaching 100 follows…currently I have 3 ideas but am keeping them to myself for the time being!

Getting close to a blog milestone made me think about other milestones that are worth celebrating.  I am already planning my Blogversary #1 but I have also been thinking about whether to celebrate any other kinds of milestones.

I had ideas for celebrating

100th blog post, 200th blog post, 300th blog post etc…

100th follower, 200th follower, 300th follower etc…

And also throwing some kind of celebration for my Birthday as well…

What sort of milestones do you celebrate?  And what sort of things do you do to celebrate these milestones on your blog?

My Hobbies and Interests

I thought I would share with you my hobbies and interests on the blog today as a way of getting to know me a bit better.  I find that knowing what someone enjoys doing, what their hobbies and interests are lets me get to know them on a bit more of a personal level.  So here are my hobbies and interests…

Arts and Crafts

I’ve always been into arts and crafts, from a very young age you would find me at the table with a paint brush or coloured pencils and crayons grasped in my hand creating masterpieces for people’s fridges!  My Grandma nurtured this instinct in me, both her and my Dad share a love of painting, and I used to go to her house and we would have a fantastic time painting and making things with toilet rolls, glitter, glue and plasticine.  That love of art saw me gain an A in GCSE art, then a D in A Level art.  I continued with my love of art and discovered scrapbooks and card making, photography and jewellery making which helped me no end when I studied a Foundation Degree in Art, Media and Design and then a Bachelor’s Degree in Photographic Art.

Currently I am enjoying candle making which I find has been really good for my head space since I have been off with stress, anxiety and depression.  It is something that I can lose myself in and has a somewhat medative quality to the processes (melting the wax, adding dye, scent then pouring the wax).

I have also started a lettering journal as I have found a love for hand lettering and really wanted to create a book of different hand lettering styles that I can use in my bullet journal and in other crafts in the future.  I have been sitting of an evening with a hot cup of tea and sketching out different alphabet styles which has been really relaxing and fun.  I have found it to be a great way to empty my mind of all the thoughts I have had during the day and helps to prepare my mind for bed.

I am intending to go over the pencil lines with pen at some point and add some colour and notes to the pages.

Reading

I love reading, being all snuggled under a blanket and getting lost in another world is one of my favorite things to do.  Unfortunately, since my mental health took a nose dive I’ve not really done much reading.  My stress and anxiety have decreased my concentration levels to a state where I found that I couldn’t follow a story and kept reading the same thing over and over again, I’d lose my place and get distracted easily which has been super frustrating for me.  I used to read at least a book or 2 each week but since september I have not read a full book.  I started reading The Snowman by Jo Nesbo back in september and am still reading it now.  I did manage 5 whole minutes the other day which I was pleased with and feel that is a sign to me getting better slowly.

Home Interiors

I have put this as one title though it includes painting and decorating, upcycling and DIY!  Since I moved into my own home I have been obsessed with all things decoration from upcycling my chairs and my lamp, to choosing colours to paint my rooms.  I have really enjoyed all parts of making my house a cozy home that reflects my personality and I’m on the look out to create some more lovely things for my home this year.  I already have a project lined up for the summer months that involves a lot of sanding, painting and cutting of wood!

Planners and Diaries

You may have seen my post Preparing for 2019 where I spoke about the diaries and planners I had ready for 2019, and I suppose you could call it a hobby or interest of mine as I’m forever on the search for the perfect planner for my life, even now, with the planners and diaries I already have for 2019 there are a few that I’m still looking at (hey, you can never have too many right?!).  I love to be organised and find that writing things down helps them to stick better in my brain rather than using my phone calendar and I have a lot to remember from bills that need paying, blog posts to write, household things and doctors appointments, along with making notes on what I have done that day, work things, dates, places to visit etc my planner can get full pretty quick!  I had used a bullet journal for a few years as I loved the creative side to it, designing layouts, doodling and painting on the pages and adding things in but eventually fell out of love with that method, especially in the run up to Christmas where I seemed to be too busy to make layouts and it all sort of slid off my radar.  While I still like the idea of a bullet journal I decided it wasn’t really the right method for me and have gone down the pre printed, multi diary/planner route for this year as I think having several planners/diaries for different aspects of my life may be a better option though only time will tell!

Blogs and Blogging

While I may not have been reading books at the moment I have been reading lots of blogs and blog posts.  I love reading about people’s lives, things people are doing, outfit posts, posts about products, creative posts about art and making things, recipes, lifestyle and all manner of other things.  I sit down each morning when I wake and, accompanied by my dog Roxy, and a coffee I catch up on the blogs I follow, sometimes I search for topics that I am interested in and read a few posts that catch my eye and I feel like I have caught up with friends.

Since starting this blog I have really enjoyed the freedom it has given me to express myself and share bits of my life, what I have been doing and thoughts and feelings.  I have found it to be really therapeutic, sitting in front of my laptop and composing posts, taking photos and planning topics to write about.

What hobbies and interests do you have?

 

Blog Life

Even when I’m not actively writing and publishing blog posts I can always find something blog related to work on.

In the last few weeks I have signed up to Ko-fi which is a page for people who love what I do to help support me and the growth of my blog.  I would love to be able to upgrade my blog plan and be able to offer products for sale – I am currently looking at designing my own range of printed and printable blog diaries and planners and any support would help towards the cost of upgrading so I could add a store element to this blog in which to sell from.  I have added a handy little button into the sidebar.

I have also gotten myself an account with Pinterest so I can share my blog posts on there and find other interesting people to follow too.  The sign up process was really quick and easy and I thought it would be fairly easy to add my images and blog posts to the site too.  However, between starting this blog and now, I have upgraded my phone and lost a load of my blog photos which were taken on my old phone and don’t seem to have been saved anywhere.  I was going to make the photos into pins and have the pin link back to the relevant blog post.  I have spent a few hours going back and forth between my blog and the photos I have still got and attempted to create some kind of order to them.  In the end I decided it would be easier to go through all my blog posts and save the images to folders titled with the post they are associated with.  Hopefully, by the end of the weekend I will have most, if not all, past posts pinned and linked back to the blog!

Sorting out blog photos and posts
Sorting out all my blog post images into post titled folders.

I also added a widget to the sidebar for visitors to easily find and follow me on Pinterest and updated my “Follow Me” information in my drop down menu on my blog home page.

Other tweaks I have made include adding metadata for Google, Pinterest and Bing into my settings, updating the Categories so all of the titles start with capital letters and creating logos for some of my blog posts (like the one found in my Top 10 Thursday posts).  I have added a new link to my drop down menu (Blog Toolkit) which is a list of all the items I use to help me create my blog posts.  And, finally, when checking that the menu and widgets worked I decided that I didn’t like the tag cloud and the way the categories were displayed so I removed the tag cloud and have added the categories as a drop down menu.  I’m still undecided on the Archive menu widget and think I may remove the Twitter and Instagram feed from the sidebar as it feels a bit cluttered and too busy for my liking.

Away from the actual blog site I have been doing some background work on my schedule and content plan.  I have scheduled the bulk of my posts into my calendar up until April so I know what I am needing to work on over the next month or so!

What sort of things have you been working on blog wise, either on the blog itself or in the background?

Blogging Goals

I think it is always a good idea when starting something that you have some kind of goal to aim for, a list of things you can cross off once you have achieved them and something to look back on from time to time so you can assess how things are coming along.  A list of goals helps me to stay focused and concentrate on what is important to me.  Today I am sharing my goals for this blog, and what I will do to achieve them.

img_0725.jpg

  • Blog Schedule. Aside from December (That schedule was a bit mad) I try to post on a Tuesday and a Friday.  This seems to suit me as I have a few days in which to be able to research, take photographs and write my post.  My goal for this year is to try and keep up with a 2 post a week schedule and try not to deviate from posting on a tuesday and a friday.
  • Follows and Likes. Currently my followers stands at 70 and I get maybe 2 or 3 likes on some of my posts.  I’d really like to get 150 followers by the end of the year and a few likes on each post I make.
  • Twitter.  Now that I have a Twitter account set up I’d like to learn how it works fully and start following people that I’m interested in and become involved in blog conversations on there.
  • Interaction/Networking.  While I follow a handful of blogs and read their posts on a day-to-day basis I rarely comment on their content.  I am going to start to make an effort to comment at least once a week on posts that really resonate with me.  I would also like to start networking with other bloggers who write about similar things as me and feel that twitter will help me with this.
  • Social Media.  I am going to try to up my game when it comes to social media and post content more regularly on the social media I already have set up (Twitter and Instagram).  Hopefully, by posting more content I will attract some new readers and followers along the way!
  • Photography.  While I have a degree in Photographic Art I don’t feel that the photos I take on this blog live up to my capabilities.  I feel that I need to work on setting up my images and work on the lighting aspect of the photo.  I really want to be able to take more photos in a fashion and advertising style to fit my blog style.

Do you have any blog goals for this year?

Pinterest

pinterest_badge_red-712x712
I’m now on Pinterest 🙂 https://www.pinterest.co.uk/mycolourfullife/

I am now on Pinterest, you can find me here.  My plan is to now go through all my blog posts, all 60 of them, create pins and boards for them and find some people to follow on there.  I have no real idea of what I am doing with it all yet as I’m sort of learning as I go but if you have any tips or anything that may help, or if you have an account and you would like a new follower then feel free to drop me a comment, I’d really appreciate it!

Top 10 Bands and Albums

img_1377

Another Thursday and you know what that means?  Another Top 10 Thursday!!!!  Today’s top 10 are my favorite bands and albums, in no particular order.

  1. Blur – Parklife
  2. Space – Spiders
  3. The Doves – Lost Souls
  4. Genesis – Calling All Stations
  5. Marilyn Manson – Mechanical Animals
  6. Eels – Daisies of the Galaxy
  7. Emerson, Lake and Palmer – Brain Salad Surgery
  8. Greenday – Dookie
  9. Gomez – Bring It On
  10. Radiohead – The Bends

Candles and Alternative Lighting

It’s no surprise to tell you how much I love candles, there is something lovely about lighting a candle, whether scented or not, that can add so much to any day.  I love how candles can create an ambience and atmosphere, create a cozy atmosphere on cold days, add a sense of occasion to any meal, fill the home with lovely scent, create an aura of intimacy, and add light to different areas.

But candles aren’t the only source of alternative lighting that is available for creating atmosphere and ambience and this blog post will show you some other forms of alternate lighting that I love.

First up is salt lamps.  I know there has been a lot of hype over the past year or so regarding their health benefits but for me I just really like the light that they give off when on.  I currently have 2 that I use regularly, one in my bedroom and one in my living room.  The light they give off is a soft, calming almost fire like tone which creates a lovely warming, cozy atmosphere.  It is a soft sort of light, really diffused and not overly bright, though I find I can read by the one in the bedroom which is perfect for me as having a light that is too bright can make me more awake than sleepy.

Next up is lamps.  Lamps are really good at adding directional light where you need it most, whether it’s a desk lamp, table lamp or floor lamp, they are great for brightening up certain areas or using to highlight certain aspects that you want people to notice.  I have several different types of lamp and use them for different things.  My anglepoise lamp is perfect for when I am working on something – usually an art project or when I’m at my laptop of an evening and working on my blog.  I like that you can direct the lamp in almost any way so that the light is in the right place for whatever you are working on.  I have my side lamp (the dinosaur one) which is on a timer because it gets quite dark here of an afternoon and sometimes I don’t really notice how dark it is if I’ve been absorbed in doing something.  I have the lamp behind my cuddle chair which I really only use for reading or if guests are round and its a bit dim in the room.  It creates a really nice cozy atmosphere and makes the cuddle chair even more appealing and comfy looking than normal (if that’s possible!)

And lastly, novelty lights.  All sorts of lights are in this category – fairy lights, word lights, a fish bubble lamp, this category is just about adding fun elements really rather than being proper light sources.  However, these lights can create a good atmosphere regardless of how they are used.

I have fairy lights in my bedroom around the alcove that my bed sits in, I don’t really use them (they are battery operated and eat batteries like no tomorrow) but they are nice to have on once in a while and create a really lovely, magical vibe.  I also have fairy lights in my garden, they are solar-powered and I use them to light the steps and handrail at night, there is something really lovely about sitting in the garden on a warm summers night and seeing the lights twinkling away, plus they are a safety feature too!

I have word lights, they spell the word JOY and, though they are supposed to be Christmas lights, I’m considering leaving them up for the year as I really like how sparkly and fun they are.  They add light to my shelving unit which in turn brings people’s attention to it and the items on it, and being a black unit, sometimes people don’t notice the things I have on display there.  Plus they always make me smile, even on the dullest day.

And lastly, the fish bubble lamp.  I can remember these being a bit “trendy” back in the 90’s and always wanting one but never being able to have one so when I saw one on sale locally I decided to buy it.  There is something really soothing about watching this lamp and I’m not sure if it’s the bubbles, watching the plastic fish bobbing up and down or the lights cycle through a spectrum of colour but it really does help me to calm down and relax!