Top 10 Things to do in Autumn

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As we are now well into autumn I thought I would share my Top 10 Things To Do in Autumn!

  • Wrap up in your warmest clothes and go for a walk in the woods or local park looking for conkers and crunching in the leaves.
  • Make a hot chocolate, add whipped cream and marshmallows, curl up on the sofa with a good book and a blanket.
  • Have a cosy evening in, light a scented candle, turn the lights off and watch a feel-good film.
  • Have a hot bath, treat your skin and hair to some pampering – exfoliate, mask, moisturize then have an early night.
  • Spend the day in your fluffiest, warmest PJs and socks doing something you enjoy – reading, playing games, writing, drawing….
  • Cook your favourite seasonal food and sit and enjoy it with family or friends (some of my favourites include vegetable stew, jacket potatoes, chilli or vegetarian cottage pie.)
  • Swap your summer clothes over to your winter ones in your wardrobe and spend some time creating new outfits from what you own.
  • Treat your feet to a pedicure – warm water soak, exfoliate, trim your nails and paint them a lovely colour, not many people will see them admittedly but every time you do you will smile.
  • Take a walk, with friends, to a local pub that has an open fire, order food and a tasty beverage and enjoy a good catchup.
  • Re-organize your living space to become a cosy haven – think soft blankets, twinkly fairy lights, candles, cushions – anything you associate with cosy.

Top 10 Easy Household Jobs You Can Do

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I see adverts all the time for household services that are easy for you to do yourself and some of these jobs are not even things I would have thought to call someone up to do for me.  Today’s Top 10 Thursday post is inspired by some of these adverts that I have seen which I would attempt myself rather than call someone out to do.

  1. Oven cleaning.  While I am not a fan of cleaning an oven (and am not entirely sure how to do it but a recent attempt involved very hot soapy water, oven cleaner and a scouring pad) it is not something I would even consider getting someone else in to do for me.
  2. Carpet and rug cleaning.  It is pretty cheap to hire out a carpet cleaning machine, buy the shampoo for the carpets and also to operate the machine, plus there is something super satisfactory about seeing all that dirt lift out of your carpets that I wouldn’t want anyone else to enjoy!
  3. Putting up a curtain rail.  I managed to put my curtain rail up (all on my own too – proper adulting!) and it was a really straightforward job.
  4. Painting and decorating.  So long as you take your time and use good brushes or other paint applicators there is not really much of a reason not to do this yourself unless it is something like a stairway or there is too much that needs to be done or specialist finish that is required.
  5. Ironing.  I don’t iron very regularly I must admit, many of my clothes are ones that don’t need ironing, and others, if hung up correctly when drying doesn’t seem to crease but when I do need to iron things I put on some music and lose myself in thought and it is soon done.
  6. Unblocking a toilet.  There are so many different ways to unblock a toilet and a quick check on YouTube will give you hundreds of video how-tos so unless these fail I would much prefer to do this myself.
  7. Dripping taps.  Another one that you can YouTube and have someone talk you through what you need to do to fix it, and once you know how to do it, can be easy and quick to sort out!
  8. Toilet cistern water levels.  I had a problem with my toilet cistern water level being too high and the excess water escaping through the overflow pipe, but I managed to fix it after Googling what was wrong and then following on-line instructions.
  9. Unblocking a sink.  9 times out of 10 if I have had problems with the water draining slowly from my sink it usually has something to do with gunk in the U bend.  I get a bucket, place it under the sink (directly below the U bend) and unscrew the U bend piece, empty it into the bucket then take it to another sink (or the bath) and give it a good clean in hot soapy water before re-attaching and find that usually works.  Only once do I recall this not working and this was when I lived in a block of flats, sharing wastewater pipes with other flats and it turned out to be a problem with the communal wastewater main pipe.
  10. Doors that stick or don’t close properly.  If the door in question is wooden it could be something as simple as tightening the screws on the hinges or getting some sandpaper and rubbing down part of the door.  As wood tends to warp, shrinking or swell depending on humidity and heat it an have a tendency to need slight adjustment over time.  If the door is a UPVC one then there are a series of hinges that can be adjusted to bring the door back into alignment.  Both of these have some good problem-solving videos on YouTube!

Top 10 Things You May Not Know About Me

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Today’s Top 10 are all random things about me that you may not know!

  • When I was younger (and this is written in one of my primary school diaries) I wanted to be a wallpaper or card designer.
  • My first pet was a rabbit named Sammy, a brown Belgian rabbit, he was shortly joined by Titch, a grey and white dwarf rabbit and Teddy, a pale fawn-coloured lop.
  • I haven’t eaten meat in about 20 years, I really don’t like the texture or taste.
  • I was born in Swindon and lived in Wooton Basset until I was 3 when we moved to Wales.
  • I have worked in payroll type positions most of my working life but I am terrible at maths
  • If I could have a dream job it would be something to do with social media, blogging and graphic design.
  • My earliest memory is of my Dad and I sitting on a beach, I must have been around 2 or so, sharing a bag of prawns which my Dad was teaching me to shell!
  • I am still friends with my best friend from primary school, and after 35 years we still speak quite often.
  • I can sense when there is a spider in the room before I even see it.
  • I’ve only been abroad twice, and never on a plane!

Top 10 Comfort Foods

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As the weather starts to become more autumnal, colder and a lot rainier, with darker nights and mornings, I start to crave comfort foods more.  Todays Top 10 Thursday is a list of my favourite comfort foods.

  • Jacket Potatoes
  • Beans on toast
  • Chips
  • Soup
  • Pasta
  • Pizza
  • Rhubarb Crumble
  • Custard
  • Apple Pie
  • Strudel

What are some of your favourite comfort foods?  I’d love to know so leave me a comment!

Top 10 Ways to Spend Time

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I love having a bit of spare time in my week and try to schedule in a few hours here and there where I have nothing planned.  Today’s Top 10 Thursday post is a list of ways I like to spend that spare time.

  • Reading –  whether it is a book, blog posts or a magazine, there is nothing better than losing yourself in words for an hour or so.
  • Blogging – I can spend so much time on my blog, from writing and scheduling posts to developing ideas and networking, it is one of my favourite hobbies.
  • Learning – I love to learn new skills, whether it is something crafty, a new recipe, something tech-related or building on skills that I already have, this is something that is really useful as well as being a good way to spend free time.
  • Gaming – I am not a huge gamer but I do have a few apps on my phone which I like to play every now and again.  I also have an original Playstation that I dust off once in a while.
  • Designing – I love to sit with my laptop and play around with ideas and designs for logos and graphics.
  • Watch a film – I don’t watch a lot of tv, when it is on it is usually for background noise rather than to actively watch it.  I do like to watch a film though, my phone goes into silent mode and I can spend a few undistracted hours lost in the film plot.
  • Sleeping – I don’t always get a good night sleep, partly because I have bouts of awful insomnia and partly, most recently, because of damaging my rotator cuff muscles, so sleep is a perfect way to spend time at the moment.
  • Gardening – I love pottering about in the garden when the weather allows it and there is always something to do out there.  I love how being out in the open, working away, can make you feel more positive and rejuvenated.
  • DIY – There is always some small, niggly job that needs doing, and with the help of YouTube and other sites giving advice, help and how-to’s much DIY can be carried out by yourself.  I love spending time fixing things and other DIY activities as I fell pretty proud of myself once I have completed them!  Plus I get to learn something new along the way!
  • Mindfulness – I always try to factor in at least half an hour each day for mindfulness practice but having more time means that I can spend longer on this.  There are so many positive outcomes of practising mindfulness that I find it the most beneficial use of my time.

How do you like to spend your time?  Let me know the comments!

Top 10 Best Performing Blog Posts

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I thought it would be nice, as it is coming up to my First Blogging Birthday, that I share with you my Top 10 Best Performing Blog Posts using the statistics that WordPress supply.  So here they are, going from highest to lowest, my Top 10 blog posts!

What has been your best-performing blog post?  Feel free to leave me a link in the comments and I’ll check them out!

Top 10 Bullet Journal Supplies

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I love bullet journaling, the creativity that comes with it and that you can have your week just as you want it, with space for all the little things you want or need to keep track of.  Today I thought I would compile a Top 10 list of my favourite Bullet Journal Supplies.

  • Bullet Journal.

I love dot grid paper for my journal, currently, I am using a £6 dotted notebook that I found in Flying Tiger, though I have used Scribbles That Matter and Leuchtturm1917 journals in the past.

  • Graphite Pencil.

An essential bullet journal supply is a graphite pencil, at the moment I’m loving mechanical pencils because you don’t need to sharpen them.  I like being able to plan my layout and lettering in pencil to see if things work or not before committing to my designs with a pen.

  • Eraser.

This is one I reach for so often!  I make so many mistakes, from wonky lines to misspelling words, plus, if a layout doesn’t quite work I can erase and start again without wasting pages!

  • Ruler.

I love the look of the hand-drawn line but totally suck at drawing them so I nearly always rely on a ruler for any straight lines that I need to draw!  I prefer a metal ruler over a plastic one as they can be a bit more precise.

  • Circle Maker.

I found this Angle and Circle Maker by Helix a while ago after getting really annoyed with my traditional compass, the screw would keep loosening and the arms would slip causing me to have a wonky circle.  This tool has changed all of that and all circles I now draw are uniform and perfect!

  • Fine tipped pens.

I love Staedtler Triplus Fineliner pens, not only do they come in a fab range of colours but the tip is fine enough for drawing lines and for writing with!

  • Graphic Pens.

I like adding detail to my designs, whether it be shadows on the lettering or doodles in the margins.  I originally used to use a fine liner pen but found that I wanted more variation in the line width.  I found these Graphik Line Makers by Derwent, which have different sized tips to be perfect for what I wanted.

  • Coloured Pencils.

Coloured pencils are fab for adding a pop of colour to a spread whether it be colouring in lettering, adding highlights or for adding fun elements.  I don’t have a favourite brand of coloured pencil, I own a ton, some are from when I was in school so are pretty old!

  • Highlighters.

I love pastel highlighters and my favourites are Stabilo (the mini ones are just soo cute!) and Zebra Mildliners.  I really like the Mildliners as one end is a chisel tip, brilliant for highlighting, while the other end is a fine line which is perfect for doodling and writing!

  • Washi Tape.

I own a ridiculous amount of washi but it is such a versatile thing!  I use it as a page marker by running a strip down the edge of a page, as a means for attaching things to the page, as an accent in designs, as section dividers, in layouts instead of drawing lines…the list is almost endless!

Do you bullet journal?  What are your most-used supplies?  I’d love to know so leave me a comment!

Top 10 Blogging Tips

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Today I am sharing my Top 10 Blogging Tips which I have learned in my (almost) year of running this blog!

  • Consistency.

Whether you blog once a day, week or month or any other timeframe it is worth being consistent with your publishing calendar.  If readers know when you post then they will keep coming back for more and know when to expect a post from you.  As a reader of many blogs, it can be frustrating to think you may have missed a post from someone, only to check and find that there isn’t a new post for you to read.

  • Schedule.

Writing posts in advance is a great way to ensure that you post consistently, the scheduler on WordPress is brilliant for writing posts and then being able to set when the post goes live on your blog.

The other type of schedule that is also important is a posting schedule which can be as simple or complex as you like.  Once you know when you want to post items, grab a calendar and make note of all the days you want the content to go out then start assigning blog titles or ideas to those days.  This can help you to stay focused and can help you to avoid bloggers block.

  • Spellings and Grammar.

Always check your work for spelling and grammar mistakes!  I use Grammarly to check my blog posts before hitting the publish button.  Sometimes the wrong word may be used but in all, I find this program to be a really useful tool.  It can also be used to check for any grammar mistakes too such as missing commas or full stops.

  • Links.

I find it really useful to add links when I am talking about products, and I really love it when other bloggers include links as it gives me the chance to check out the products they are talking about.  I have read about how adding links can increase your SEO and website ranking, but, for me as a blogger, I am more interested in giving my reader a link so they can view what I am talking about.  Remember, if you are using affiliate links to let people know.  I was using affiliate links but don’t anymore as I only want to link to things I have used or believe in (and Amazon kicked me off of their Affiliates program as I never got a sale through it…).

  • Tags and Categories.

Always make sure you utilize the categories and tags function!  Categories help your reader to find other posts that are similar in nature or theme on your blog and tags help new readers to find your blog posts.  For best visibility in the Reader section, I tend to use between 3 and 10 tags for my post to show up in WordPress searches.

  • Font and Layout.

Choose a layout that is easy to navigate.  I read once that you should think of an older relative visiting your site and trying to navigate around it, you want to make it simple for them to use and find what they are looking for.  Choose a font that is easy to read and not to light in a tone that it starts to disappear into the background.  You want your readers to easily be able to read what you have written and stay on your site reading other posts, not struggle to read one line of text and then leave!

  • Concise.

Think about what you want to say and stick to the point.  People have clicked onto your blog post to read something but they don’t want to have to read all of your thoughts that you have had in the day to get there.  This tip ties in really well with the Schedule tip, as with the right schedule and a little pre-planning you will know what it is that you want to say before you even write it thus eliminating the dreaded waffle!

  • Social Media.

It is ok not to have social media for your blog, and it is ok if you do but don’t use it regularly, and it’s equally as ok if you use social media constantly when it comes to your blog.  I have had facebook then came off of it at the beginning of the year, I have a Twitter account for the blog and Instagram, and while I tried for a while with Instagram I just found it hard work to keep sharing on there, and I’ve never really understood Twitter, and that is ok.  I have a few ideas planned for those channels but I’m not that bothered.  Don’t feel that you have to be on every social media platform available and don’t put pressure on yourself to post to those accounts if you do.

  • Read, Comment and Follow.

I have a wonderful group of friends on here that I have made over time, most of them I have found when searching for interesting posts to read.  I always look forward to reading their posts.  Find blogs that are in a similar niche to you and follow them, comment on their blogs from time to time and get to know them, blogging can be tough if you don’t have friends to support.

  • Blog what you Love.

Writing a blog post about something that interests you, that you are passionate about, love or know about is a whole lot easier than forcing yourself to write about something you dislike or have no idea about, this is why you will never find a post about quantum physics on this blog!  If you love or enjoy something it is much easier to write about and I have found that reading a post that someone has written with a genuine passion for the subject is a joy to read and I can feel how much they enjoy that subject.  Readers can always tell if a post has been forced or if it comes from enjoyment!

What blogging tips do you have?  I’d really love to know in the comments!

Top 10 Blog Post Ideas

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Every now and again we bloggers can run out of content ideas which can be really frustrating when we want to keep to a blogging schedule and get content out there for our audience to read.  When this happens, I turn to my list of blog post ideas which can help to get the creativity flowing again.  Here’s my Top 10 Blog Post Ideas.

  1. Review post.  Used a new product, read a new book, listened to a new album, tried a new restaurant?  Write a blog post about it, these types of post are always really interesting to read and will give your audience ideas of things they may want to check out.
  2. Recipe.  I love to find new recipes to try out or even read peoples own take on a recipe.
  3. How To.  How-to posts are really useful, not only for your audience but for your own reference too.  You could write a DIY how-to, a gaming how-to, gardening…the list is pretty much endless!
  4. Goals.  Goals are really interesting and can be really motivational too.  No matter whether you write a post about the goals you wish to achieve in a day, week or year I always find that I am more likely to achieve the things I post about as it keeps me accountable.  I also get inspired as a reader when I see other people’s goals.
  5. Something fun you have done.  If you have had fun doing something, whether it is a games night, a party or event you attended, to a night out or a trip to the beach or museum, why not write about it, from what you did, what you ate to how you travelled there?
  6. Photo post.  I love seeing peoples photos, whether it is a collated post of flower photos, home, products, scenery, there are so many different things you can take photos of that would be interesting for your readers to see.
  7. List-post.  I love reading list posts, whether it is a list of things you need to buy, to tips, experiences, outfits, accessories, lists can be utilised in so many different ways and contain a plethora of information.
  8. What you wore to…Outfit posts are one of my favourite kinds of posts to search for, especially when I have an event or occasion coming up and have no idea of what to wear, I love to see how people put together outfits and how they style their clothing.
  9. Things to do.  You could write a post about things to do in your area, on a night out, with the kids, in the winter, people are always looking for inspiration for ways to chase away the boredom, and this sort of post really helps with that!
  10. A project you are working on.  Sharing a project you are working on can be a bit scary the first time but you can get some really helpful and lovely comments from your readers, along with help, tips and advice, and also gives you motivation to continue with the project, it can also help inspire others to try their hand at a project they want to start.

What are your favourite blog post ideas?  Let me know in the comments!