A Year in Review | 2020

During a post-Christmas clean, I found a journal entry I wrote on 1st January. Incidentally this was the only entry I made all year, but looking back I started the year out filled with a lot of hope and ambition for 2020. Reading it made me realize just how much growth I have had in many areas of my life. The global pandemic has certainly brought some challenging and depressing days, but there have also been some wonderful moments this year that I want to remember. So before 2020 is over, here are just some of my highlights from this incredibly strange year:

  • I attended my auntie’s wedding right at the beginning of January and who knew that would be my first and last big social event for the year?! The day was filled with carefree dancing, toasting, laughing, hugging, and all without wearing a mask or obeying any rules of six…

  • This year the U.K. has really enjoyed some glorious weather, which I really appreciated particularly throughout the first lockdown. This meant there were lots of walks (often twice a day!), as well as days filled with various kinds of outside exercise or sunbathing with a glass of cold Pimms.

  • Being at home and having a lot more time back in my day, meant it was the perfect opportunity for more blogging, with this post being number 58 of this year! I pushed myself with writing challenges and also concentrated more on uploading videos to my YouTube channel. Overall this has resulted in more traffic with readers/viewers from different parts of the world – thank you! I can’t wait to continue creating next year.

  • There wasn’t a homemade sourdough in sight on my end, but I did get some baking in here and there. My new favourite discovery was a Sangria cake I baked for my Mum’s birthday – so easy and delicious! I also tried cooking some new recipes which emphasized how much I love trying new things. I am excited to do more of this in 2021 too!

  • I was devastated when my Summer flights to America were cancelled as I planned on going to Chicago for the first time, as well as attending my brother’s wedding! However we all still celebrated virtually via a live stream, complete with video calls for speeches and toasts. My family and I made the effort to dress up and we also decorated the house, the garden and the table. I even cooked a slightly elaborate meal! Overall, it was a bittersweet but a memorable and special day.

  • Despite all the challenges working from home, I am super proud of my progression in my 9-5 job and the impact I have had this year. I am giving myself a huge pat on the back well done… something we all need to do now and again!

  • Living an active lifestyle was my main goal for 2020. At the start of the year I was focused on getting beyond the 8 week mark of regular exercise (before I typically lost interest). From HIIT, running, pilates, hikes, walks, online classes and various other videos and IGTV’s, I’ve LOVED every moment of it. I am feeling stronger both mentally and physically, with my relationship and attitude towards exercise being completely transformed. Here’s to health in 2021!

  • Finding out I would be an auntie for the first time has also been a highlight for this year. Roll on early 2021 where I get to meet (virtually but hopefully physically soon) my little niece.

  • Becoming a dog auntie to the wonderful @cosmoandsherlockadventures has brought me so much joy and firmly helped me get over my fear of dogs! I am now one of those people who would coo at a dog rather than run away from it, haha!

  • In a way I am hugely grateful to 2020 as it meant I was able to save money faster and led me to buying my first home with my boyfriend. I am so excited to move in January 2021 and begin a new and exciting chapter of my life!

This year may not have always gone to plan, but 2020 has helped me be thankful for what I do have and enjoy the small moments along the way. Whatever way you are ringing in the New Year, I wish you a wonderful , happy, healthy and safe year ahead, filled with lots of positivity and light. Let’s hope 2021 will be filled with more times seeing our loved ones and squeezing them tight once again.

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Comparing My Favourite Purple Shampoos

Blonde hair can sure be high maintenance, let alone when it comes to choosing the perfect purple or silver shampoo, to maintain that lovely blonde. I for one know that there are 50 Shades of Blonde so I’ve taken it upon myself to show the results of two of my favourites! This video took me a while to make as I decided to compare it on both ash blonde and beige blonde hair, so you can really see the difference!

Watch the video below to see the results of Kérastase’s Absolu-Blond vs Redken’s Blondage… enjoy!

Buy the Kérastase shampoo here
Buy the Redken shampoo here

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That Salon Hair Feeling!

Happy humpday readers! It’s the perfect time to do some self-care and what’s better than some TLC for your hair?

With Black Friday and Christmas around the corner, this is the perfect product to buy as a gift, for a friend or for yourself! There is a reason this hair mask is so popular… watch my video to see the result!

Buy the Coco & Eve, Like a Virgin hair mask here: https://amzn.to/2UCL65o

If you liked this post, you should subscribe to keep up to date with what I’m talking about. Remember there will also be more content coming your way every day this month Monday – Friday, so don’t miss out!

Come connect with me on socials:

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I Went on Holiday During a Pandemic…!

I honestly did not think I would feel safe enough to travel and/or go on holiday this year. However, the safety measures that were put into place by British Airways and Cyprus’ specific entry requirements, really put me at ease. As a result, I felt comfortable and safe enough to go to the island for a last minute Summer holiday in October. Staying near the famous Ayia Napa, watch my travel vlog to see what I got up to…

P.S. During editing, I noticed just how quiet and peaceful the island really was…!

I hope you will like and subscribe to my blog & YouTube channel if you liked this video (it really helps), to keep up to date with what I’m talking about!

Let me know if you would you like me to write a post on my experience traveling during a pandemic in the comments below and come follow me on Instagram!

Connect with me on socials!

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How To Start A Blog (& What To Expect)

So you want to start a blog but not sure where to start? Well, you’ve come to the right place! By now you have probably read several posts on why you should start a blog and if it is hard to do so. To answer both of these questions, yes you should and no it’s not! The hardest thing to do is to get over your fear of sharing your work. I’ve been writing my blog for the last 3 years and frankly, I wish I started it sooner. When I write, hours feel like mere minutes and when I look back on my old posts I can tell just how much my writing has improved. I’ve connected with bloggers all over the world and despite what you think about it being over-saturated, there definitely is a space in the blogosphere for you!

“Where do I start?”, I hear you ask. I’ve broken it down for you in the below checklist so that hopefully it won’t feel as intimidating:

Checklist

1. Blog purpose
You may have heard people say pick your “niche”. But let’s start in a more general sense. What topics will you be writing about? Will it be fashion, plants, women in tech, cooking, baking, travel on a budget, lifestyle, arts &crafts, health & wellness? The list goes on! Once you have decided on this, think about what type of blogs you like to read or would want to read. Will your blog’s purpose be to educate, entertain or perhaps be review based? Once you’ve figured this out, it will help you discover what kind of voice you want your blog to have.

2. Blog name
Once you have decided what you want to write about you can begin thinking about your name. There are lots of name generators online, but if you’re stuck I’d suggest to begin writing a few posts and see what name best reflects the pieces you have written. Then you will need to do a bit of research to see if your blogs name (domain) is available (see point 3).

3. Platform
There are lots of great blogging platforms to use. I use WordPress but there is also Blogger, Wix and Medium to name a few. WordPress has lots of good free templates and packages to choose from. Not sure if you want to invest in blogging right away? That’s ok! There are lots of free templates and a free packages available. Once you have chosen your platform, it will let you search to see if your name is available, and if not it will suggest a list of some alternative names to use.

4. Content & Blog Design
I’d suggest to have a draft post written when you start designing your site, start short between 350-500 words. This will allow you to see what template and style you like best as you start bringing your blog to life. There are so many designs to choose from! I’d recommend to start with the free templates unless you are 100% sure what design you want.

6. Photos
Don’t be shy and add some photos to bring your blog to life. There are so many free stock photos you can add, but get creative and share your work. You don’t need to show your face if you don’t want to and you don’t need an expensive camera. Take photos on your phone and play around with editing them on free apps like Adobe Lightroom or VSCO.

7. About Me
Feel free to add an “About Me” page which should include an introduction to your blog. Why did you start it and what can people expect? Keep it short and snappy.

8. Share!
Perhaps the scariest of them all is sharing your blog with people you know and strangers. It took me 6 months to share my work and tell more than 1 person about it. Then I got too scared and didn’t write for a long time. Ignore the little voice in your head telling you your work isn’t good enough and that people will laugh. Why you started your blog is bigger than this voice. To name a few reasons, for me blogging is a great creative outlet, a wonderful way for my friends and family to keep up with me, a weekly challenge and a fab way to look back on old trips. Share your blog across social media to begin with, maybe set up your own Facebook page, a new Instagram etc. These are free and easy ways to grow your readership.

So what should you expect at the beginning?

  1. You may have some tech issues and frustrations at the start, but remember you’re learning something completely new and YouTube is your best friend!
  2. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to stick to a rigid blogging schedule. Yes, it does help to tell your readers how often you will share posts, but let your creativity come naturally otherwise it just won’t be enjoyable and you will probably give up more often.
  3. Posting more regularly will help increase your blog traffic (i.e. views). In January 2019 I wanted to get back into the swing of blogging so I did a month of daily blogging and I saw a big surge in views.
  4. Unless you already have a large following across your social media, the likelihood is that you will slowly build a readership. But Rome wasn’t built in a day!
  5. Don’t focus on the stats of your blog too much and don’t compare yourself to big time bloggers or influencers. It look a time for them to get there.
  6. Concentrate on writing about what makes you passionate, not what you think people will hear.
  7. Yes you can make money from blogging in the long run, but it likely won’t be lucrative at the beginning. It will be dependent on how many people view your blog monthly, what you are offering to your readers, if you use ads, affiliate links, work with brands etc. But do not let this put you off!
  8. Go at your own pace and again, DO NOT COMPARE.
  9. How long does it take to write a post? Well, how long is a piece of string? I can spend anywhere from 2-6 hours writing and editing my blog posts. Most of my pieces are very lengthy though, so that’s probably my own doing and it depends on the style of the post, e.g. a short story takes much longer to write and edit than a smoothie recipe blog post!
  10. Lastly, remember to enjoy and welcome to the blogging community! Let me know if you’re new to the world of blogging and let’s connect!

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