Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lifestyle. Show all posts

TOP TIPS FOR CREATING DIGITAL BRANDING AS A BLOGGER

Saturday

AD – This is a sponsored post.

As a blogger, not only do I write and share blog posts, but I also have to make sure I keep my digital branding up to date. This is in order to show my personal brand and my blogging brand off across my social media platforms.


The digital branded content you may create as a blogger are as follows:

  • Media kit
  • Blog logo
  • Social media templates
  • Instagram story templates
  • Pinterest pins
  • Products in your branding such as Gumroad e-books
  • Newsletters and emails
  • Email signatures

In this post, I will be giving you some advice on how to keep your branded content fresh and up to date. So without further ado, let’s get into the tips.


laptop with flowers and phone
Image by Jess Bailey Designs on Pexels.

5 tips for updating your digital branding as a blogger


1. Create a clear logo


The first thing you will want to do as a blogger is to create an eye catching logo with your blog name on. Think about the colours you use because you can use them in a colour scheme for your other content.


Once you have created a logo you are happy with, you can then use this on other content you may wish to produce such as a media kit or social media templates.

Related: 3 ways to stay creative

2. Pick a colour scheme


Choosing a colour scheme is what all brands do when creating their content and products and bloggers should too. At the moment I tend to use light pink as that is in my logo, and other light colours such as a muted blue and peach. Admittedly, I need to work more on my colour scheme.


3. Choose fonts to use for different content


When creating different digital branded content, you will need to pick some fonts to use. For example, I have one font for my logo but I have a few other, more readable fonts for when I am writing more text like in my monthly newsletters or for the paragraphs in my media kit. Once you have decided what branded content you are going to create, I would suggest picking different fonts that you will use for different things and try and keep them as standard across your content.


Start your search for fonts by checking out this fancy fonts collection by font bundles. They offer a range of fonts for each occasion.


4. Standardise your content


Similar to what I was saying about picking standard fonts to go across your content, you should try to standardise all of your branded content using colour and any other signature effects you might use. This will help people recognise you. For example, if you have a branded Twitter header and one of your Twitter followers finds your Facebook page that has the same branding, they may remember your branding from Twitter and be more likely to connect with you on another platform too.


On social media, you should create pin covers for Pinterest and Instagram story highlight covers in your branding. It is also a good idea to create headers for Twitter and Facebook in your branding that contain your logo. These are just small ways to make your social media channels look more professional. If you are a blogger, your audience or brands will be more visually pleased when seeing branding on your social media than if you don’t have any. It also shows that you are serious about marketing yourself and blogging too.

Related: 100 Blog post ideas for every niche

5. Try and show you in your branded digital content


Try and bring yourself into your branding as much as you can. It is promoting you and your blog so make it personal, and obviously relevant to your niche. If you are a travel blogger, don’t be using makeup brushes in your logo, for example.


Creating personal branding should be fun because you can choose what you want everything to look like in a way that best promotes you, your blog and your services.


When it comes to branding and creating content, play around. It doesn’t have to be perfect straight away! I have had a range of logos before, it’s all trial and error until you have found what you’re happy with and it will feel really good when you do. I usually just play around with things until I get it looking perfect, just try not to stress out too much about it and have fun!


How are you getting on with your branded content? Do you have any tips?

DEALING WITH HIGH FUNCTIONING ANXIETY - GUEST POST

This is a guest post from Rachael Hawksworth.

Hi. My name is Rachael, I have a full and fun social life, a fantastic job and crippling high functioning anxiety.


Since I was a little girl I have been very talkative. I've been described as HAPPY, talkative, bubbly and enthusiastic my whole life. I attended drama school, studied dance and put myself out there to help anyone out, with anything. Anyone meeting me would describe me as confident, outgoing and friendly.


However I viewed myself as annoying. Loud, rude, in your face too much. Convinced that I talk too much, to much about myself or don't talk enough! I have a terrible habit of trying to please everyone and keep everyone happy from fear of them disliking me or not wanting to be my friend. Because I have believed for so long that no one would actually want to be friends with me, it must be because of things I do for them. Or, even worse, that if I do anything wrong then they’ll realise they don’t actually like me!



Underneath all this self doubt, I was desperately sad. But everyone always told me I was happy? Super positive!? I found myself convincing myself I was ok because everyone saw me that way.


I only realised when I was 28 that torturing myself this way wasn’t just how I was, it was anxiety. It took YEARS for me to accept and ask for help. Mainly because I didn’t realise what anxiety really looked like, the emotional and the physical symptoms are what caught me off guard. I always thought of anxiety as a strong anxious feeling! But its so much more.


I knew I had a problem for a while. I’d find myself rocking back and forth with my head in my hands, trying to soothe myself. Working in a busy, customer facing management role in hospitality, managing 3 teams of 120 people total and yet I couldn’t bring myself to leave the house sometimes, crippled with social anxiety and a feeling of severe dread for no apparent reason. I’d be going to parties with friends one weekend, then the next I’d barely be able to get my words out, stuttering and uncontrollable overthinking.


Cycle of completing a task with high functioning anxiety
Cycle of completing a task with high functioning anxiety


I did nothing about it. I didn’t seek help, I ignored it. Made all the typical excuses...
I talk to hundreds of staff and customers every week, I host parties at work and am always putting myself out there... how could I be ‘Anxious’’


I'm so confident... I can’t have anxiety? I felt GUILTY for even thinking that I could have anxiety... like I was belittling others who REALLY suffered with anxiety by comparing myself with them.


The reason I am sharing this with you and the rest of the internet is because there are bound to be hundreds, even thousands of people out there who are suffering in silence. Battling with themselves and unable to admit there is anything wrong. Could be you, could be someone you care about...


Everyone’s experience of anxiety disorders is different. Not everyone who has an anxiety disorder will experience the same symptoms.


Mental symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • racing thoughts,
  • uncontrollable over-thinking,
  • difficulties concentrating,
  • feelings of dread, panic or ‘impending doom’,
  • feeling irritable,
  • heightened alertness,
  • problems with sleep,
  • changes in appetite,
  • wanting to escape from the situation you are in, and
  • dissociation.


If you dissociate you might feel like you are not connected to your own body. Or like you are watching things happen around you, without feeling it.


Physical symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • sweating,
  • heavy and fast breathing,
  • hot flushes or blushing,
  • dry mouth,
  • shaking,
  • hair loss,
  • fast heartbeat,
  • extreme tiredness or lack of energy
  • dizziness and fainting, and
  • stomach aches and sickness.

What is High Functioning Anxiety?


High Functioning Anxiety - How it appears vs how it feels

High Functioning Anxiety - How it appears vs how it feels


If you feel like this is you, then I hope you might feel a sense of relief. Like you finally have permission to accept that you are struggling! Your feelings are validated and your not just ‘broken’ or ‘crazy’ - BOTH things I told myself for YEARS.


Human beings are not perfect, no one of us is! You don’t have to try to be. You can seem like a social butterfly and still suffer from a inability to even leave the house some days.


What to do if you recognise the symptoms of High Functioning Anxiety in yourself...


  • Reach out for help!
    It is not weak to ask for help, its the strongest thing you can do. Family, friends, loved ones who you can trust are great ones to reach out too but there are also lots of websites and organisations that you can speak too for advice.

    Anxiety UK
    Charity providing support if you have been diagnosed with an anxiety condition.
    Phone: 03444 775 774 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.30pm)
    Website: www.anxietyuk.org.uk

    CALM
    CALM is the Campaign Against Living Miserably. A charity providing a mental health helpline and webchat.
    Phone: 0800 58 58 58 (daily, 5pm to midnight)
    Website: www.thecalmzone.net

    Men's Health Forum
    24/7 stress support for men by text, chat and email.
    Website: www.menshealthforum.org.uk

    Mental Health Foundation
    Provides information and support for anyone with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
    Website: www.mentalhealth.org.uk

    Mind
    Promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems.
    Phone: 0300 123 3393 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm)
    Website: www.mind.org.uk

    Rethink Mental Illness
    Support and advice for people living with mental illness.
    Phone: 0300 5000 927 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4pm)
    Website: www.rethink.org
  • Recognise and address symptoms as they come up. There are plenty of grounding techniques and mindfulness & breathing exercises to do.
  • Start journaling!
    There is a journal for everything nowadays - productivity journals, daily, weekly or monthly journals, mindfulness journals... anything that you could want or need to track and plan - THERES A JOURNAL OR PLANNER FOR IT! Feeling organised and physically writing down your thoughts and ideas helps ease anxiety symptoms SO much.
    Often times your heads a mess with over thinking and your not able to focus... writing everything down, getting it out of your head and into physical form means you can make sense of it all.
  • Speak to your doctor and consider counselling
    Anti-depressants and anti anxiety medication has had this stigma around it for so long, its very annoying!! If you had a illness in your body and you need help, you go to your doctor no they prescribe medicine. This includes your mental health! Your doctor will go over all your options, they are highly trained in dealing with mental health and can advise you in any way you need. Plus they can refer you to local mental health organisations and even for counselling.

If you know someone who has High Functioning Anxiety or you think might have then speak to them about it. Be gentle and kind, understand that they may not be ready to talk about it but showing them that you are there to listen when they are ready to talk will make the biggest difference!


Most of the time someone with a anxiety disorder really needs to just talk, they need someone who will listen to them and let them vent and feel what they are feeling! It’s easy to try to say things which you THINK are helpful but that’s really not...


Things NOT to say to someone who is suffering from a anxiety disorder...


‘’It could be worse, other people have it way worse than you’’

‘’Cheer up’’

‘’You’ll be fine, you’ll get over it’’

‘’But your so happy, are you sure its anxiety and your not just being dramatic?’’


What may not seem like much on the outside, could be significantly effecting someone on the inside. No doubt the person who is opening up to you about their anxiety disorder, already has been telling themselves all of the above! The fact they feel comfortable speaking to you about it and opening up is a HUGE step. 



SANE Provides emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers.
Textcare: comfort and care via text message, sent when the person needs it most: www.sane.org.uk/textcare
Peer support forum: www.sane.org.uk/supportforum
Website: www.sane.org.uk/support

YoungMinds provide information on child and adolescent mental health. Services for parents and professionals.
Parents' helpline 0808 802 5544

MEET MY MARCH ADVERTISERS

Sunday

AD - This post features my monthly advertisers. If you are interested in advertising with me then please contact me or find out more information on my advertise with me page.

 

Woman working on laptop

Welcome to my March Advertisers post. In this post, I will be sharing with you all of the blogs that you need to check out this month.

Sunshine Sarah blog logo
First up is Sunshine Sarah, a fitting name as Sarah is a ray of sunshine. Her content always leaves me feeling more positive and her blog is beautiful! If you want some positivity to brighten up your life then you definitely need to check Sarah's blog out.

Posts you need to check out from Sarah


not my body type blog logo

The next blog you have to check out this month is Not My Body Type. Alice is a critical care nurse but alongside that, she writes all about fashion and style and I really love her posts! She also highlights mental health and body image issues.

Start by checking out these posts

Amy Marshment profile picture

Amy Marshment is one of my favourite people that I have connected with on Twitter and I love her blog! She is always just looking to support people and is generally lovely. She specialises in lifestyle, personal growth and beauty so if that's your thing definitely check her out.

Amy's posts you need to see

The Sunday Blogger logo
Zoe from The Sunday Blogger is another one of my favourite lifestyle bloggers. It's a perfect chilled Sunday afternoon read. On The Sunday Blogger, you can expect to find brilliant content all about self-care and wellbeing, beauty, travel and lifestyle. I would definitely recommend checking her out!

Here are some posts you should check out:


Steff's Journey logo

If you love lifestyle and blogging content, then you need to check out Steff's Journey. Steff writes all about her life and blogging experiences and she even interviews other bloggers too.

Start by checking out these posts:


Our favourite jar logo

Finally, we have Our Favourite Jar. Claire writes all sorts of great posts about lifestyle and family. Her posts are always really honest, so if you want to read about real-life family accounts, lifestyle and even up your blogging game then you definitely need to check out Our Favourite Jar!

Here are some posts from Our Favourite Jar to check out


And there we have it, thank you to these wonderful blogs for advertising with me. I hope you love their blogs as much as I do! If you missed last month's then don't forget to check out my meet my February advertisers post.

7 WAYS TO ENHANCE YOUR CV

Saturday

This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase a product through my links I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

I am graduating university this year, probably at the worst time for jobs with the pandemic so I may be freaking out a little bit. However, I am determined to get a job after I finish so I have been trying to find ways to enhance my CV and LinkedIn profiles to try to make me stand out a little more. I thought I'd share ways I try to enhance my CV with you as I know a lot of other students and graduates will probably be in the same boat as me. It's more competitive now for graduate jobs than ever before so we are going to need to find ways to boost our employability and experience (I say we because we are in this together).


So here are some tips on what I have done, plan to do or what I think would help you enhance your CV and make you more employable.


woman working on laptop
Image from picjumbo.com.


Top tips on enhancing your CV


1. Gain as much experience as you can


I know with the pandemic, this is a lot harder than it normally would be. In my degree, you could either do a 4 week work placement or a year placement. I chose to do the year placement and I worked for a year as a marketing intern. Now, I have a year's worth of marketing experience so when I come to apply to a job that requires a year's experience in marketing, I can apply knowing I have that experience - so if you are able to do a placement year, I say do it! This tip will be more difficult and I'm aware that it's much harder to gain experience which is why I have included the other tips too!

2. Volunteer


Again, it can be hard to be a volunteer but you can volunteer online. I've seen social media volunteering positions where you can post from home and you can still count this as volunteering on your CV and LinkedIn. There are lots of NHS volunteering positions available to.


3. Start a blog


OK I am biased with this one but I really believe it is a great way to gain an online presence. Whatever your are of expertise is or whatever area you want to go into, start a blog with that theme. Yes, it can be a little time consuming but is much easier than finding work experience at the moment and you can put as much time as you like into it. It shows you spend your time dedicated to something else other than just your studies.

Having a blog is also a good point of conversation at interviews and I have linked my blog in my CV and LinkedIn so companies can find out more about me and get more of a sense of my personal brand. I could go on for ages on how I think starting a blog would be beneficial to any career, maybe I will write an entirely separate post on this in the future.

4. Attend Webinars


There are lots of free webinars out there that can help you be more knowledgeable on a subject area. For example, I joined one last year all about Instagram engagement and I found that really helpful for me. I do a media degree so this was helpful for me but there are lots of different ones you can sign up to for a variety of areas. 

5. Complete online courses


Again, with it being harder to go out and get some experience, the best thing to do is see what you can do online. When I was doing my marketing internship I completed the Digital Marketing course on Google Digital Garage. This gave me a certificate that I could put on my LinkedIn so if a company see it, it will show I am willing to put time in to learn more about my area. On Google Digital Garage, there are even short courses on being better on public speaking and productivity which can be used for any job.

6. Enhance the layout of your CV


The first thing that an employer will notice about your CV is the layout. A smart looking, well designed CV will look far more interesting than a plain word document. Don't be worried about this, there are loads of free templates on Canva that look really good.


7. Use LinkedIn


I know this isn't technically enhancing your CV but it's important to utilise LinkedIn. If you apply for a job, it's likely that they could look you up on there so if you are on there actively showing off all the other things you are doing to be employable like your online courses it will look more impressive than if they don't find you - or if there's nothing on there. It's just another good way to show off in basic terms.

In short, just try and do as many things as you can to set you apart from other people like you who may be applying to similar roles.
Do you have any career tips? I'd love to hear them.

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10 PRODUCTIVE THINGS TO DO ON A SUNDAY FOR THE BEST WEEK

This is a guest post from Merry at Monodreame.

Sundays are usually a day of rest and relaxation, right? I usually go somewhere with my friend but now, during the pandemic, I just stay at home and spend the day with family, my adorable dogs, and be productive to welcome the new week. So now I will share with you what things to do on Sunday for the best week.


No place like home cushion

Photo credit: Jelena Mirkovic.


I know some people suffer from Sunday night blues (yeah me too). The feeling that we have to go work or for now, working from home on Monday and get the whole routine of getting the children ready for school, etc. It is essential to start your week well and it is important to create a Sunday routine to start your week off on the right foot.


I don’t want to overwhelm you! In fact, you don't have to do all of this, you can pick and choose which one works for you. I find that planning my week makes me feel my best, especially come Monday. Since I started working at home, I don't even hate Mondays anymore.


Everything is a lot easier to deal with when you spend your weekend being productive. Trust me, with all these things to do on Sunday, you are setting yourself up for a very productive and successful week.


Plan Your Week

Starting in the beginning of 2020, I am always planning my monthly, weekly, and daily tasks. This has been life-changing for me. I’ve been struggling to keep on track with everything I accomplished.

This usually takes me about an hour. It’s kinda fun to plan your week. I psychically write in a planner and make it pretty.

Some people might find it stressful, but knowing what I have to do for the week let’s me enjoy the rest of my Sunday without that anxiety of what Monday brings. This is where I list my priorities first, then fill in the rest next.

Schedule Workouts

This goes back to planning your week, but don’t forget this part!

Some people that I know like to go to the gym - so if you’re one of gym lover, book any classes!

I’m not a fan of heavy workout, instead I like to run at the nearby park, do light exercise at home, make some walk dates with friends, and put them in your calendar or planner.

Plan Your Meals

When planning your weekly task, you can also plan out your meals so it’s one less thing to think about. It’s ABSOLUTELY AMAZING living out a week of this, too. Check if you have any events out of the house and then plan on cooking around that. Then, make that grocery list and go to the store.

Go to the Grocery

I find that weekends, especially Sundays are a great time to go to the store.


Honestly, it’s because on Sunday I will have a lot of time to spend outside rather than weekdays.

Declutter

Spend 30 minutes or an hour decluttering your space - your home, office, car, life.


Will you be able to clean your workspace? Organize your stationery or makeup tools? Put laundry away? Do a wipe down of your house or at least your bedroom? Do it!

Clean Out Your Fridge

If you go through your fridge once a week, it saves it from becoming a hot mess. I toss anything I didn’t eat or use and do a little wipe down if I’m feeling really productive. If you need to do a full clean out, by the way, start here.

Do Laundry

After decluttering and cleaning your fridge, you can also do your laundry.

There’s nothing worse than waking up on Monday then realizing you have nothing clean to wear! Or waiting until like Friday night to do it all and then staring at a huge pile of clean laundry waiting for you after work. Right? So just do it Sunday.

Self-care

Sundays are a great day for a little self-care at home, and what I mean by that is a bath + face mask combo which is the BEST.

You could also get a mani/pedi, read your favorite books, or whatever feels like taking care of yourself. Here are some self-care products that I know you’ll LOVE!

Relax + Rest + Restore

Spend some time relaxing. You can take a nap, stretch, or hang with your family/friends. Do something that RESTORES your mind, body or soul. I usually go to church and watch a movie or go for a long walk and kinda incorporate it throughout my day, but especially in the evening.

Additionally, it’s rainy days and there are a lot of fun things you can do on rainy or even snow days at home!

Go to bed early

The best piece of advice I can give – set yourself up for a good week with a good night’s sleep! This article can help if you aren’t the best sleeper.

Anything else y’all do on Sundays to plan for your week? I’d love to hear!

Author Bio

Merry Sari is a blogger and content writer who shares tips, tricks, and advice about blogging, self-care, and lifestyle on her blog, “Monodreame.” You will find her informative contents to help bloggers build and grow their blogs. Find more about her on Twitter and Instagram.


AMTICO: THE COMFORT YOU DESERVE

Wednesday

AD - this is a pre-written post.

Bedroom Vinyl is the Comfort You Deserve


People tend to imagine their bedrooms having thick, soft carpets to provide comfort and warmth during the colder months and all around style.


In some respects this does provide a lot of both, but also provides a lot of risk and care to keep it that way. Luxury wood effect vinyl flooring has been great when implemented within the confines of a kitchen or bathroom, which is chosen for its anti-moisture protection. But the interest didn’t take long to spread through other rooms, finally becoming a solid alternative for bedroom installation.


luxury vinyl tiles

Strength and Stress Level


For starters, vinyl is a thoroughly durable product that is easy to maintain to its original state upon installation.


Whilst carpets do need vacuuming and specialist carpet cleaning chemicals over time to keep their clean appearance, vinyl flooring does so with a simple sweep and occasional mop. The relative ease in keeping vinyl clean is perfect for those who struggle to find a lot of time to clean through the house.


Comfort and Care


When it comes to natural comfort, we admit there is something extra special about the feeling of a thick warm carpet underfoot. Although vinyl may look hard to step on it is actually very comfortable underfoot and makes a perfect protected partner towards underfloor heating. The comfort is as equal to carpets and installation of planks or tiles is much easier compared to laying carpet, which does not require a specialist to undertake.


Both Vinyl and carpet make your room look great, feel great and both vary in pricing, with vinyl coming in at the cheaper option.


luxury bathroom vinyl


Style and Profile


Like carpets, vinyl flooring will come down to design and colour to suit your room.


We choose designs based on our own personal preference and personality, and it can take a lot of decision making to choose the right feel of a room in line with our tastes. The good news is that vinyl flooring takes a lot of different tastes into consideration, adopting an attitude of having it your way, and providing designs such as Signature Woods or Spacia Stones from Amtico for your consideration.


Gone are the days of generic designs and the doors are much wider for intrinsic designs that elevate the personality of any room, giving your bedroom a sense of style. 


Whatever you choose to make your bedroom the most calming environment of your house, both carpet and lowest price Amtico flooring provide a great alternative to make your room your very own.

Related: 3 tips for staying creative.

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A-Z OF DATE IDEAS

Saturday

This post contains PR samples.

I love going for dates, whether that's with Joe or a girly date with one of my friends. Sometimes it can be hard to decide what to do for it though, so as Valentine's Day is coming up, I have compiled an A-Z list of ideas. I am hoping this will help people and also help me when thinking of date ideas.


Obviously, some of these date ideas will be harder to do with the current COVID-19 restrictions, but this list can give you something to plan and look forward to when we can go out and be free again.


A - Aquarium

Anything to do with animals is a cute day out for a date. There is an aquarium near us in Bournemouth which we like to go to sometimes and it's always nice to visit - especially the penguins.


B - Beach Day

This is easier if you have a beach nearby. In summer it's nice to be able to sit on the beach, but you can still walk along the beach when it's a bit colder. It's one of my favourite things to do and it's really easy for us living in Bournemouth.


C - Cinema

The cinema is always a classic date idea. A little harder at the moment with Covid but still, a movie day is good for a chilled out date.


D - Drinks

Again, a classic date idea. Drinks is always a nice option and you can go for chilled drinks or slightly nicer drinks like cocktails. You an also have drinks in or out, its a pretty versatile options. If you're looking to have drinks in, check out my cocktail recipes post.


DIY Bramble cocktail

E - Escape Room

I've actually never been to an escape room but would like to try it. I think this could be a fun thing to do on a date or with friends.


F - Farm Shop

Hear me out for this one. By where I live at home there's a really cute farm shop where you can have lunch or breakfast and they have the best brie paninis. They have chickens walking around there too. It's more of a countryside thing but I'm sure they'll have lots dotted about the country.


G - Games Night

One way to make a regular night in a little bit different is to play games and have a games night. 


H - Hotel Stay 

This is one for the future when the world is back to normal, but it's one of my favourite things to do. I love going to new cities and exploring.

Related: 48 hours in Hastings

J - Jump Trampoline Park

Is this just a random one because I struggled to think of a J? Maybe. But when I've been to trampoline parks it's actually been really funny. A bit of  more active one.


K - Kayaking

This is something I've never tried but it looks so fun and I would love to try it, maybe when it's a little warmer outside.


L - Learning a new skill together

I feel like this is a COVID-19 friendly idea if you live with someone because there are plenty of new things you could learn at home.


M - Minigolf / Museum

I picked two for this one because I think minigolf and museums are just as fun as each other sometimes. It just depends what you fancy.


N - Night in 


Say it with Champers mini prosecco

Everyone loves a night in once in a while, at the moment it seems like nights in are the only things we can do so we may as well try to make them a bit more exciting. When I have a special night in, I like to celebrate with some drinks to make it a bit different to a normal night. Say it with Champers have a mini personalised prosecco that you could treat yourself, your partner or your friends to for Valentine's Day, or for any occasion.


P - Picnic in the park

I love a nice picnic when the weather is nice outside, it's just a little different than going out for a meal or eating in your house.


Q - Quiz night

Throwback to lockdown 1 when we were all doing zoom quizzes with our friends. I like this for when you can't see people in person though, it's a good way to keep in touch with people.


R - Restaurant

I am writing this mid-lockdown and I am CRAVING going out for food right now. I don't even need to explain why this is a good date idea.


S - Sightseeing

One of my favourite things to do is explore new places and take nice pictures. It's always good to do this with other people.

Related: Places you need to visit in Dorset

T - Takeaway

Perfect for when you just want to feast and not cook. BRB just scrolling through Deliveroo.


V - Virtual Experience

This is another COVID-19 friendly idea and there seem to be a lot more virtual events and experiences popping up.


W - Walk

Another obvious one but still a good one. You can get steps in while spending time with someone so it's perfect.


OK, I am skipping I, O, U X and Y because I can't think of anything for them, let's be real. Let me know if you can think of any ideas for any of these letters!


Z - Zoo

This is one of my all time favourite things to do, I think it's such a cool date idea!


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MEET MY FEBRUARY ADVERTISERS

Monday

AD - I have recently started offering advertising for bloggers on my blog, and I'm so excited to share with you the first ever advertisers on my blog.

If you are interested in advertising with me then please get in touch! I offer an advertising package for as little as £3 for the month. Advertising on blogs doesn't only help you gain more backlinks to your site, but it also gives you more exposure to different audiences.


Woman working on laptop

For February, I have 5 great blogs that you need to check out!

The Unpredicted Page logo
First of all, we have Amber from The Unpredicted Page. Amber is a fabulous lifestyle blogger who I have been following for a while and I really love her content as well as her blogging resources and freebies. From university, to all of the lifestyle content you will ever need, Amber has you covered.

Here are some of her posts to start you off

Next, is Tash from A Girl with a View. Tash is one of my favourite bloggers and she posts about all sorts of things such as travel, and how you might like to spend weekends away. She also writes a lot about lifestyle and university.


Here are some of Tash's post you need to read



Kayleigh Zara blog logo

Kayleigh Zara's blog is one I always look to for inspiration and guidance on blogging. Looking for information on how to up your blogging game? She's got you! She has a wide range of other content too, such as lifestyle and university posts.

Read some of Kayleigh's posts here


The Thrifty Bride blog logo
If you love everything wedding, you need to visit The Thrifty Bride blog by Lauren. She writes about being a Covid bride and wedding jewellery too. You may recognise Lauren from Laureny Loves blog too.

Check out these posts from The Thrifty Bride


Faerie Lifestyle blog logo

Faerie Lifestyle covers a range of topics. From female empowerment, to mindfulness and culture. Estee really covers it all. Make sure you check out this blog if you love all of the above.

Discover these posts from Faerie Lifestyle


I am so pleased to be able to showcase these brilliant bloggers on my blog, especially on my first ever Meet the Advertisers post. I can't wait to continue these monthly, so if you're interested in advertising with me, please do get in touch.

This is also the first time I have made money from my blog, which has been one of my 2021 goals and I've done that already. So I'd like to make a special thank you to these bloggers for working with me and helping me reach one of my goals.

Do you have any bloggers I should check out this month? Let me know, I always love reading new blogs.

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WHAT NOW? A LIFE AFTER GRADUATION - GUEST POST

Saturday

This is a guest post from Alisha at Inside the Voyage.

Hi everyone! I’m Alisha a travel and lifestyle blogger over at Inside The Voyage. I graduated with a BA Hons degree in English and Media in 2019, and have since been discovering myself and my passions.


Travel flatlay

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.


What Now?


I am positive that every University student fears unemployment after graduation. Who wouldn’t? I most certainly did, and to an extent, nearly two years later I still do.  I graduated in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Media. Though I celebrated the end of my degree with overflowing prosecco glasses and listening to the constant ‘Well done, you did it!’ felicitations from family, and friends. I could not help but hear that deep-rooted fear within my gut that consistently questioned ‘What now?’.

 

I did not know what I wanted in a career, never mind actually apply for a job. So, rather than rack my head around career topics, I decided to take time away from educational studies and future career prospects. I needed to gain clarity for my future. I believed I was only causing myself anxiety, forcing myself to follow fellow graduates into new exciting careers. I hadn’t found my calling yet, and though it sickeningly worried me, I comfortably settled into the unknown.


Travelling


I then decided to travel, I love the world and want to see as much of it as possible. I booked onto a two-month tour around South East Asia, though my mum was worried out of her mind due to my travelling solo, I was ecstatic. I finally had one goal set to reach that I needed money. Soon after moving back home, I landed a part-time job in a local bar and began working as many shifts as possible to save for my next adventure. A career was not even a thought in my mind, because in the present I had much more exciting plans. I finally believed that I had structured my life into forming a pathway that I should be on.

 

April 2020: Travel around South East Asia

September 2020: Start an MA Course (at this point, I was still undecided on what I wanted to do)


Being a Graduate in the pandemic


Unfortunately, this devastating pandemic hit and my plans, like many others, were indefinitely put on hold. I was now back at square one. Not sure where my life was going, or even what I wanted to do. Luckily, I managed to run from the graduate blues, hiding behind my excitement to travel. However, forced into a lockdown that feared question soon arose, ‘What now?’.

 

I now had all the time in the world to figure out what I wanted out of life. And my gosh, I experimented with plenty of things during 2020. I first started a “marketing” job, and what a mistake that was. It was not what was advertised, but I earned next to nothing, and quit on the first day.

 

Next, I started an MLM scheme, purely out of boredom at this point. That lasted a week or so before I put time into researching what an MLM scheme actually was and realised, again, I was barely making any money. Don’t get me wrong, some people do earn a lot working for an MLM scheme, but I found it a pretty exhausting way to make money.


Starting my own business


My next adventure and my most favoured was starting my small wax melt business Inside The Fragrance. Starting this venture has kept occupied and busy when I felt lost and demotivated. This is one hundred per cent a small side business for me, and in no means is it my future career, but it is absolutely perfect for the time being.

 

Now, like many others, I’m currently on furlough from my bar job. Thus, this free time has allowed me to focus on my side business and my future career. I have spent months looking at various job prospects and MA courses. Ultimately, this slightly freaked me out as I wondered virtually from one course to another, desperately seeking somewhere I could call home.

 

Finally, after nearly two years since my graduation, I gained some clarity on the path I am about to embark on. From one graduate to another, please don’t stress if you graduate University without a job. It is, and I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH; it is not the end of the world. If you’re like me, it will merely take you slightly longer to reach realisation, but once you get there, you will feel like you’re on the path you’re meant to be on.

 

My advice to you:

 

1.     Don’t panic apply for jobs. When we’re panicking, we often make rash decisions and uninformed decisions.

2.     Figure out what you enjoy, identify your skills, and discover the right career path for you.

3.      Don’t be discouraged if your job application is rejected. That one job was not meant for you, and there are always more opportunities.

4.   Use your free time to build on your CV. Attend online classes to enhance or learn to skills.

5.      Find your passion! It might be easier said than done, but once you realise your passions, you will feel much more confident in applying to that MA course OR job.

 

Follow me on social media:


Instagram: Instagram.com/alishabrisco

Twitter: Twitter.com/alishabrisco

Blog: www.insidethevoyage.co.uk


Related read: Top Tips for Starting University 


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3 TIPS FOR STAYING CREATIVE

Tuesday

AD - This is a sponsored post.

As a blogger, I am always trying to find new ways to be creative. Although, sometimes it can be quite difficult to stay creative or to get the motivation to be creative, especially with the ongoing pandemic. Most of the time when I am not feeling creative but know I have to get something done, I need to find inspiration.


You may want to create graphics for blogging and social media or you could just want to start a new creative hobby while there’s less to go and do at the moment. You may have a small business want to create logos and business cards to promote what you do. If any of these sounds like you then I have some tips for you.


person using macbook pro and ipad

Image from Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.


Tips on getting creative when you are in a creative slump


Take regular breaks when you need to


Unfortunately, a lot of the time you can’t force creativity. The best thing for me is leaving something and coming back to it. If I need to create something and get a bit stuck on it, it will usually help me to leave it for a bit and give myself rest. Then when I come back to it, I can come back to it refreshed with a different mindset. I do this with blog posts a lot of the time too, sometimes I can write them so easily and other times it takes a while for me to construct them.


Use design prompts


When you are in a creative slump but have a deadline coming up, you may need to seek inspiration and look for design prompts. Design Bundles have so many prompts available to purchase for low prices. They offer products such as graphics, templates and illustrations to help you with your designs.


These bundles could be helpful if you are starting a new creative hobby too and are not sure where to start. They even have SVG files such as a baseball SVG and skull SVG which could be great for kids. Using bundles like these can not only give you inspiration, but can save so much time when creating too.


woman using tablet and computer

Image from Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.


Get inspiration from similar outlets


You should never copy anyone else, but there’s no harm done in looking to other outlets that have produced something similar to what you’d like to do and using them for inspiration. For example, when I am stuck for blog posts, I know a lot of bloggers have posts about ideas for blogging so I will look to them for some guidance.


Similarly, if you’d like to start a candle making business, it would be helpful to see what other candle making businesses are doing and what works well. If all else fails, just use Google to look for what you’d like to create and see what’s already out there.


What are your favourite ways to get creative? Let me know if you use any of these tips. I love being creative and always feel better once I have done a creative hobby or made something. You can get so caught up in work life or university life if you’re like me so it’s great to have a creative outlet too!


Related: 100 Blog Post Ideas for Every Niche


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