Blogtober Participants?

are you taking part_

Are you taking part in Blogtober?  Would you like to have more people read your Blogtober posts?

If you can answer yes to the above questions please leave a link to your blog in the comments, at the end of each week I will be sharing a blog post listing blogs that are taking part!

Advertisements

Blogtober 1st

1

It’s the first day of Blogtober today and I can hear you all asking “What is Blogtober?” so today I will be sharing the answer with you, why I am taking part and what I am going to be doing for Blogtober.

Blogtober is a blog challenge that a lot of bloggers will be taking part in.  It is essentially a challenge to write a blog post a day for the whole of October, some bloggers theme their posts while others just up their posting schedule to get a post in each day.

I wanted to take part last year but was still figuring out my schedule and the sort of posts I wanted to write for this blog and didn’t want to jump into anything too suddenly without giving it much thought.

The first blog challenge I took part in was the Blogging From A-Z April Challenge which I had prepared for, thought about and really enjoyed.  Since that challenge, I have tried to post every day and have pretty much succeeded (I think I have missed 3 posts since April).

Despite blogging pretty much daily I have decided to take up the Blogtober Challenge alongside my usual posts as I want to push myself a little bit and see if I can complete this.  I have also decided to incorporate a theme for this blog challenge and hopefully get a little bit more understanding of myself out of it along the way.

I had originally planned on a theme of “Things About Me” but couldn’t really think of 31 things to write about that could cover a blog post a day and in all honesty, I was a bit stuck for ideas.  I happened to be listening to The Minimalists Podcast (episode 197 – Successful People) where Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus were chatting to Alex Banayan and they were all chatting about finding the thing that you are passionate about and how to go about it.  Alex bought up that passion was a pretty intimidating word and it should be re-framed as enthusiasm.  The whole conversation was really interesting and I really would recommend that you have a listen to the podcast to understand the full concept.  Alex spoke about how excitement can be mistaken for enthusiasm and then spoke about how to find what you are most enthusiastic about then introduced the 30-day Challenge.

The 30 Day Challenge is what I am going to be undertaking here on the blog for the next 30 days and is pretty simple in its concept.  There are 3 questions

  1. What made me feel enthusiastic today?
  2. What drained me of energy?
  3. What did I learn about myself today?

And these 3 questions need to be answered each day, which seems pretty simple in theory, but as Alex said in the podcast, by the 6th, 7th and 8th day you will start to struggle to answer them, then, by the end of the 30 days there should be a pattern emerging from which you can see what you are most enthusiastic about and where your passion lies.

Why have I chosen this for Blogtober?  I chose this because I am interested in the outcomes and what I can learn about myself, what I should be moving toward and focusing on and what I should be spending less time on.  I also chose this as my Blogtober theme as, should I undertake this on my own I don’t think I would last a few days let alone a full month so I need to be accountable somewhere, Blogtober seemed like the perfect time to set myself this challenge.

Are you taking part in Blogtober?  If so, let me know in the comments, I’d love to support you through this crazy month of blog posts!!!

My Blog is 1!!!!

Today my blog turns 1!  As a celebration, I have a giveaway for you to enter to win a bullet journal which will be designed by me (please see this post for the giveaway rules and how to enter).

I have also created a group over on Facebook (yeah, I’m back on there and will be talking about my return to Facebook in my Words on Wednesday post).  I created the group Bloggers Brew as a way to help bloggers to network with others, share blog posts and ask any questions that they may need help with and to share any ideas.  I want this group to be an extension of blogging, a way to meet other bloggers and to share any advice and help.  Please feel free to pop over to Facebook and join the group, either use the search bar and look for Bloggers Brew or click the link here.  There are a few questions to answer upon requesting to join, this is just to help the group as a whole, reduce any spam that may enter the group and make sure that anyone who joins is genuine.  I hope that will not put you off from joining.

So, what are you waiting for?  Come and join the group now!!!!

My Best and Worst Habits as a Blogger

Untitled design(5)

As humans, we inherently have good and bad habits so it makes sense that as bloggers, we also have good and bad traits.  Today I am sharing my best and worst habits as a blogger.

The Good

  • Organisation and scheduling.  There is nothing that I love more than spending time creating my blog schedule and working out which posts should be written and go live on which days.  I think I have created a schedule which works really well for me and fits in with the rest of my life and the things I want to achieve.
  • Trying new things.  I really like to push myself with trying new things on the blog, it helps to keep things fun and fresh both for myself and my readers too!
  • Enthusiasm.  I am super enthusiastic about all aspects of blogging, I eat, sleep, breathe and talk blogging most of the time! Lol!
  • Supporting other bloggers.  I love to support other bloggers and help out where I can.  I like to share other blogs via my Saturday Shout Out and am currently working on a few plans to help other bloggers too!
  • Blog post ideas.  I have a fab niche which allows me to write about many different topics which means I have tons of ideas of things to write about.  One year in and I still have not run out of ideas yet!

The Bad

  • Drinking too much coffee.  So. Much. Coffee…Seriously, who would have thought that writing a blog post or doing another bit that is blog related would be fueled by so many cups of coffee?!
  • Procrastination.  I am the Procrastination Princess, though I am not entirely sure that it is procrastination that I really have or that I can be really easily distracted at times?
  • Time management.  This is something that is both good and bad, good that I have everything planned to the minute but bad that sometimes when things go wrong and end up taking longer I can get pretty frustrated.  It can also mean that I end up working on something for a lot longer than I should!
  • Doing all the things (or wanting to).  I can get pretty overwhelmed with things, partly due to my Aspergers, but there is part of me that always wants to try to get everything done or try out new ideas there and then which isn’t the best thing to do at times!
  • Overthinking.  Sometimes, I can find it really hard to motivate myself to write something, especially if I have been thinking about it for a long time.  I sort of feel like I have written it already (albeit in my head) and really need to motivate myself to get it typed out.  I had this problem in Uni when I was supposed to be writing my dissertation.

I’d love to hear about your best and worst habits as a blogger, so leave me a comment and let me know!

Autumn Beauty Favourites

Autumn Beauty Favourites

With the weather turning colder, the need for central heating being switched on fast approaches, the nights getting darker and fashion moved towards a more cosy style a lot of women will be changing up their beauty routines and products so I thought I would share some of my favourite autumn beauty products.

img_5913

Clockwise from bottom left – Eyebrow Razor, Dr Botanicals Pomegranite Superfood Regenerating Sleep Mask, Pixi Mesmerising Minerals Eyeshadow Palette in Mineral Contour, Lush Ultrabland Cleanser, Pixi Mesmerising Minerals Eyeshadow Palette in Desert Sunset, Revive Micro Needle Facial Roller, Facial Brush, Eyebrow Razor (folded).  Centre – Lush Breath Of Fresh Air Toner.

img_5917

These are my Autumn favourite beauty tools.  The top item is my facial brush, which used with a cleanser, can help to brighten the skin by boosting circulation and removing dead skin cells.  At this time of the year, my skin can suffer pretty badly from looking lacklustre and dull so using this can help it to look brighter.

Second down in the picture is my microneedle roller, this tool has lots of super fine needles covering the roller part.  Using this once a fortnight can help to boost collagen which can help to reduce wrinkles, firm the skin and can help to reduce scars.  Another benefit is that it can help products penetrate the skin more easily.

Bottom of the picture is eyebrow razors, which can also be used as dermaplaning blades.  Dermaplaning can help to exfoliate the skin while also removing fine facial hair.  I have found that dermaplaning can help with dry skin and spots as it removes any dead skin cells.

img_5916

Lush Ultrabland is my favourite cleanser for the autumn and winter months.  It is a cream that you melt in your hands before rubbing over your face, then using a toner, or damp flannel, to remove the excess.  This cleanser is really oily and moisturising without being harsh or stripping any oils from the skin.  It is also really gentle on the skin.  This product is perfect for my skin which gets really dry when going from the cold outside into centrally heated environments.

Dr Botanicals Pomegranite Superfood Regenerating Sleep Mask is a trial version but I love it so much that once it is empty I will be purchasing the full-size version!  After cleansing my skin before bed, I apply a thin layer of this to my face then go to bed.  In the morning my skin feels soft, less irritated and dry, and looks glowing.  It is definitely some kind of miracle worker in my opinion!

Lush Breath of Fresh Air Facial Toner comes in this handy pump spray bottle and means that just the right amount is dispensed so there is no waste.  It contains rose absolute which is really calming for the skin and patchouli which is an astringent which helps to tackle spots and oil production.  I use this once I have cleansed my skin, just spritz it onto my face and leave to dry.  I have used this in the day when my skin needs a little pick-me-up too.

img_5914

I picked both of these Pixi Mesmerising Mineral Eyeshadow Palettes from my local Tk Maxx as I was looking for an earthy, copper palette that could be used for autumn makeup looks.  I couldn’t decide between the 2 palettes and in the end came home with both!  The first palette, on the left, is the Mineral Contour palette, the darkest shade is a charcoal black matte finish powder while the rest of the shades all seem to have a slight shimmer to them.  I was drawn to this one as it has a lovely range of brown colours which can all work on their own or in a combination to produce a fairly neutral coloured eye.  The second palette, on the right, is the Desert Sunset palette which has 4 matte or semi-matte shades (the red at the bottom, orange, brick brown and the darker brown) there are 2 shimmer shades – the bronze and copper shades at the top.  I was drawn to this palette as it was a bit brighter than the other, I really loved the shades of red, orange and copper and they were the shades I had been on the search for.  Both palettes are in shades that I tend to go for in the autumn and I know they will get good use!

Do you have any Autumn Beauty Favourites?  I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

A Day In My Life As A Blogger

A Day In My Life As A Blogger

*I would like to preface this blog post by saying that this post is more like my ideal day as a blogger and not like every day that I spend blogging.  This kind of day happens maybe once a fortnight at best!*

Most of my blogging takes place on the weekends when I have more time to spend with and on my blog when my mind is not full of the stresses and strains of weekday life.

I wake up from a restful night’s sleep, stretch and get up.  I prepare a cafetiere of my favourite coffee (Hot Lava Java) and settle on the sofa with my cuppa, laptop and Roxy.  I spend a few hours reading the blogs I follow while drinking my coffee.

After catching up on blog reading I check my notificatons and reply to comments before heading over to my email.  I read through my emails, responding or flagging anything that needs attention.

Once my emails have been sorted I then open up my blog bullet journal and see what posts I have scheduled in to be written.  I like to make notes on what I am going to write before making a start.

I head over to Canva and create some heading for my posts before uploading them to my blog.  I open a new post and add the image header, write the post, re-read it, edit and spell check and then set it to be scheduled.

Once I have all my posts written and scheduled I head to my stats screen.  I like to keep a track of my stats on an Excel spreadsheet, so open that up.  I then add in each day’s stats, having a look for any patterns that I can see.  I like to use these stats for lots of different things, from seeing which days are the most popular to what sort of posts people seem to be reading most or interacting with.

If it is coming up toward the end of a month I like to have a look at my blog calendar for the month ahead which is also on a spreadsheet.  I may make some amendments and change the posts over to different days before adding the whole calendar to my bullet journal.

I then check my notifications again, respond to any comments and then go back to read any new posts that may have been added by the blogs I follow.

Sometimes I have a mind-mapping session and go through my blog categories, playing word association with each category which I find a really useful way to generate post ideas.  I will also search the words using Instagram or google and see what sort of posts come up, noting down any other relevant hashtags that may have been used.

Usually, this can take me a full day, and it is the sort of lazy but productive day that I love!

What does a day look like for you as a blogger?  I’d love to hear about your blog routines in the comments!

What is…Pitted Keratolysis?

What Is...

I have pitted keratolysis which can be pretty embarrassing at times and painful at others but I have found a few ways to manage this condition.  Today I want to share with you what this condition is and how you can ease it.

So, what is pitted keratolysis?

Pitted keratolysis is a bacterial skin infection that can affect both the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands. However, it most often affects the feet because of the sweaty environment created by wearing shoes and socks for an extended period of time.

This condition is characterized by small depressions or pits in the top layer of skin and areas of white skin. It can be a cause of smelly feet and is much more common in men than women. – https://www.healthline.com/health/pitted-keratolysis

My pitted keratolysis is on my feet and causes them to become really stinky, overly sweaty to the extent that they feel slimy, causes my skin to peel and in turn become really sore.

For years I was treating this condition as athletes foot, which had been wrongly diagnosed.  While the powders, sprays and lotions helped a little bit with the smell it caused my skin to dry out and crack which would lead to sore, weeping wounds, particularly between my toes.

I changed my socks 2 or 3 times a day which never really helped, cleaned my shoes with disinfectant and never wear the same pair 2 days running.  But nothing seemed to help.

I eventually decided to purchase some Dricolor roll-on antiperspirant and try that.  Dricolor contains aluminium chloride hexahydrate which is really effective at stopping sweat by blocking the sweat glands.  Application is easy, after washing my feet I roll the antiperspirant onto the soles of my feet and wiggle my toes so the solution disperses between them and then I leave to dry.  Sometimes this can take a while but I have found a hairdryer on a low heat setting can speed things up.  I then put my socks on and get ready for the day.

This is the most effective for me, and the effects of the Dricolor last for ages, even with showering.  I tend to apply this antiperspirant on a Saturday and a Wednesday each week.

Other things you can do to help with this condition are to go barefoot as often as possible and wash your feet often drying them well after.

This has been the most effective treatment for me and I am no longer embarrassed by my feet or how they smell (because they don’t any more!).

Do you have pitted keratolysis?  What do you use to care for your feet?  I’d be really interested in hearing your comments!

 

David Nash – Exhibition

I have been a huge fan of David Nash for such a long time, so when I found out that there was to be an exhibition of his work in my city museum I couldn’t turn down the chance to go and see his work in real life.

My friend and I booked the day off from work, I drove us to a park and ride where we caught a bus into the city centre and we made our way to the museum.  The exhibition was free to enter and we had a lovely time looking at the sculptures that David Nash had created.

David Nash works with natural materials, mainly wood, and creates some really lovely pieces which are thoughtful, sympathetic to the materials he works with and are aesthetically pleasing.  Sometimes the wood is cut and left to dry out which creates work that is not controlled in any way other than by the elements, other times the wood is cut into shapes and made into shapes, other times the wood is burned to a blackened, charcoal which is wonderfully textured.

My favourite has to be the sphere, pyramid and cube that have been charcoaled, the drawings behind them are the 2d forms of the sculptures.  Time and again this piece has made an appearance in my school, college and university work.  There is something honest and familiar about the shapes, maybe because they are the shapes that have been taught to us at an early age, but seeing them in real life was amazing.

Once we had seen the exhibition we went to the museum cafe and had coffees and ice cream before walking around Cardiff and exploring the shopping arcades, even visiting my favourite shop Pen and Paper before heading home.

Have you been to any exhibitions recently?  Which artist’s work have you seen?  I’d love to hear where you have been in the comments!