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Showing posts from August, 2013

Being A Freelance Writer

When I tell my penfriends or other people I meet - mostly non writers, that I am a freelancer writer, the reactions are quite funny. I think they assume I inhabit a world where every job is glamorous and exciting, where work just falls onto my lap, and where the pay is brilliant. The reality of a freelance lifestyle is a bit different, and while I love many things about it, it's far removed from a walk in the park. Here are a few little snippets of my life as a freelancer : - Much to my families disgust I have committed the ultimate sin of starting work in my PJ's - very glam - but it is practical - sitting here at my laptop I can feel the cold very easily - that's my justification anyway. - A Freelancer doesn't just take time off whenever they feel like it, and swan around taking long lunches and popping to the shops when others are chained to the desk. Yes our flexible schedules do allow for both on occasion, but they are perks, and not always the norm. I could

My Holiday Destination Wish List

I can't believe how quick the summer goes sometimes, but although we are getting towards the end of August there are still people going off on holiday, enjoying the sunshine when it arrives, or planning to attend end of season festivals. So, although for various reasons I haven't been on holiday in a good few years now, I thought I'd indulge in a holiday wish list style post. In no particular order here are a few places I would love to visit: Center Parcs I have always loved holiday parks ever since I was small, and used to get quite excited whenever we were going to one. I like the home from home feel of the accommodation, don't mind making my own food or going self-catering, and prefer the informal style of the holiday, as oppose to always dressing for dinner, being in a hotel with noisy guests, and having more structure. Center Parcs to me would be the ultimate UK holiday park stay, I love the woodland settings of the 5 parks, the lakes, and the idea of taking

Positive Vibes Purple Baking Challenge

I know it's bad form to publicly admit you're bored, but sometimes it happens, although luckily Twitter came to the rescue on this occasion. I don't mean I spent endless hours trawling all the gossip, links, and general twit-chat people had been posting, I found something fun to get involved with instead.  Fresh from the oven, but not looking very purple! The Positive Vibes project is headed up by RRS Counselling, and promotes creativity and the positive effects it can have on your well-being and mental health. This could mean music, photography, art, baking and more. As someone who has, and still does experience mental health issues, I know first hand how wonderful creative hobbies can be, and how much they have helped - so when I saw a Twitter post asking for people to join in with a baking challenge I jumped at the chance. Inspired by the 'Depressed Cake Shop' idea, which aims to raise awareness of depression through a pop-up selling grey cakes, this

Harris Tweed Laptop Rucksacks *sponsored post

Some of you may have read my profile, but in case you haven't, my lifestyle, or at least the 'work' part of it, revolves around freelance writing. Although a lot of the time I am in front of the laptop screen at home, I have been thinking recently about what I'd do if I decided on a change of scene, opted to try a co-working space, or just needed to take my laptop out with me for work. Normally I just have to choose a bag from my collection that will fit my trusty notebook, pen, and camera in it, but if I needed my laptop with me, I'm not sure a normal rucksack would fit the bill. To me, my laptop needs to be safe and secure, and not bashing up against my other items as I walk out the house. If you're thinking along the same lines, then maybe the stylish backpacks on offer from City Backpacks will provide a solution. City Backpacks are an online retailer, and the largest European stockist of a Korean backpack brand called 'The Earth'. The Earth hav

August Shopping - Cosmic Shimmer, Chad Valley, and Candice Wren

When I first started blogging, and thinking about the type of posts I wanted to put up, there were some ideas that I just didn't think anyone would be interested in, but shopping posts seem to be quite common so I thought I'd have a go and see how it goes. I feel quite organised this month as I have bought my nephew Joey his first birthday present. He is 1 in November and at the moment absolutely loves knocking his play bricks down when we build them in a tower. With this in mind I found a really cute soft skittle set for 1 year olds in Argos for a good price. I've had a peek in the box (Joey won't know!) and they look well made and very colourful. I like the fact they all have numbers on as well. I look forward to seeing him open it later this year. It feels quite naughty to buy more craft stash when I've got plenty at home, but I have wanted some of this for a while, so decided now was the time to buy, especially with Xmas crafting approaching. This purchase

Neal And Wolf Haircare Products Review

Although it's still stayed quite warm, the heat wave days and random rainfall meant that my hair was in need of some attention the other week. The perfect time to try out Neal and Wolf's hair care products which I was sent to try out. My postman brought me sample sachets of the Ritual Daily Cleansing Shampoo, Rituals Daily Conditioner, and a full size bottle of Guard, which is a heat protection spray. One of my bug bears with sample size products is that sachets have so little in them, and it's always a bit time consuming trying to get every last drop out. I also have thick hair, so my review didn't get off to the best of starts, as I didn't have enough product to cover one wash, although I still have comments to make. I was a little sceptical at first, wondering if an everyday shampoo suitable for all hair types would suit my hair, as I normally buy products for colour treated/dry hair - but the Rituals products still promised to add moisture and shine so I

Blog Sale - Custom Wooden Keepsake and Handmade Card

I have been blogging for quite a few years now professionally, but this is my first full blown attempt at my own blog, so I am still discovering, learning, and finding out new things. One of those are 'blog sales', something I've often found on beauty blogs, as people seek to get rid of unwanted stash. To be a bit different though, I've got together with my sister, a fellow maker, and we've decided to do a craft blog sale post. We are offering readers a custom decorated wooden keepsake heart and a handmade card. Both can be customised with names, numbers, colours, perhaps even themes stash permitting. We often deal with custom requests, so welcome all ideas, and will do our best to meet your needs, whether you'd like something for a new baby, wedding, birthday or other occasion. You can choose to have both items for the one person/occasion, or have them made for separate people. I've included a recent joint commission below to give you an idea of what we c

Getting Started With Cardmaking

Cardmaking is all about taking inspiration, and putting your own stamp on it! I've been making handmade cards for quite a few years now, and quite often when people say to me, "that's lovely, I wish I could do that" my response is normally "why don't you have a go" but there is often some reluctance as they fear not being 'any good', and making a mess of it. I even came across a lady at a pottery painting session who was constantly seeking reassurance, and was very afraid of making a mess. It's easy to understand a lack of confidence when you are new to something, and you want it to look good, but I don't think that should stop anyone having a go! With this thought in mind, I thought I'd blog with some tips on getting started in cardmaking, one of the crafts I do a lot. I hope you will find it useful and inspiring.   Don't worry about making a mess Every crafter, without fail, will make a mess, and while something you

PaperShaker Photo Postcards Review

Product reviews come in all shapes and sizes, but normally I am blogged about those rather than products or services. I do love photos and anything vaguely creative though, so agreed to try out the service offered by The site is part of the Photobox family and offers customers the chance to personalise flat postcard style cards to celebrate 'special moments'. In the promo blurb it didn't make it clear what those special moments were, so I had to go onto the site to investigate. PaperShaker's website is easy to navigate, and currently has drop-down menus for wedding and new baby and party invitations for adult and children. The wedding and new baby sections contain most things you would need, from birth announcements and save the date cards to thank you cards, so the choice is pretty comprehensive, and the template pages provide a choice of layouts for your photo's, along with backgrounds, graphics, and general designs, which range from simple