Categories
Home

The Rise and Rise of the Influencer

Do you have a favourite blog?  You Tube Channel?  Tik Tok star?

I have a bunch of favourites myself, and for years, I – let’s be honest here- kind of envied them.  I had ‘normal’ jobs that I wasn’t that invested in, so when I met a girl at work who was quitting her day job to be a full time money blogger, I was sceptical to say the least.

Well, I was wrong.  She did great- won awards, got in the press and her brand went from strength to strength.  While I really admired her, I was envious too.  I was still seemingly trapped in the cycle of finding a job that I hoped would fulfil me, realising it wouldn’t, then seeking out another opportunity as soon as I could.

That not really a sustainable course of action, it turns out!  In a previous life I had been a restaurant manager, and I quickly recalled that the best part of that job was being the leader, being the person who had a vision for the shift or week or month ahead, and had the organisation and drive to make it happen.  Sounds a grand way of getting all the customers served with the meals they ordered, but ultimately, I realised I liked getting sh*t DONE!

So, screwing my courage to the sticking post- like the girl I had admired so much for getting her blog so successful that she could make a full time job of it- I started a blog.

Several times in fact.

I even had my cousin pretty much set up one of them, because I was just so stumped by the technical aspect of all – not a great moment.  In fact it was pretty embarrassing as she had the whole thing done in about an hour!  But, alas – and I hope she isn’t reading this – I gave up on that site.  I didn’t have the faith that I could learn how to change or fix things on the blog, which I could have learned.  More importantly, I didn’t have the faith in myself to make a success of it, that anyone would be interested in what I was writing.

Fast forward to today, and I am settling into blogging very nicely thank you very much.  I’m still not amazing at setting up a blog, or any of the tech bits – and I’m talking the simplest stuff here – not coding or anything remotely tricky!  I’m pretty sure I’m making all sorts of mistakes as I go along, and I know my sites don’t look amazing, but I now appreciate that it’s just part of the journey, and that the tech know-how will come with practice.  Well, that’s what I’m told by the lovely community of bloggers and influencers I have found myself immersed in lately, anyway!

I also have less worry about who will read my output now than I did.   At some point, I just decided I was going to blog for me, and if other people want to join me and read my posts, then they will be welcomed with open arms!

There are so many fabulous bloggers and influencers out there at the moment that I didn’t have to look far to find some inspiration to get me going in this world, even aside from the household names we have all come to hear about the last few years.

I’m pretty partial to a makeup tutorial myself, an eco-friendly blog here and there, and of course, anything with a recipe on it, so I have a million people on the internet to inspire me or learn from a so many different ways!

The wonderful thing is, in this online world we are creating around ourselves we can chose to learn and grow in whatever direction we decide we want to, and that is exactly what I have done myself.

I went from envying the people blogging or being influencers to becoming a blogger myself.  It was hard, not because I didn’t understand how to start a blog site or how to change the colours or add pictures, though of course that was, and remains tricky!  But it was mostly hard because I didn’t think I could even have got this far, but guess what?  I have.

 

Categories
Home

Intentional Cleaning

As we move into the autumn winter season, I have been thinking about how to keep my home clean in a more intentional way.

In the past I have just fitted in housework around other tasks – pushing the vac round while I’m waiting for the pasta water to boil, scrubbing the shower tiles while I’ve got conditioner in my hair, that sort of thing.

At this time of year I like to slow down a bit, take more time over cooking and eating, spending more time snuggled up and getting cosy, so the rushing around, squeezing in 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there housework schedule, just doesn’t seem to fit right now.

Headspace do a wonderful mindfulness exercise called ‘Mindful Cleaning for Sleep’ – the theory being that if you can’t sleep at night, you can get up and clean something while also clearing your mind, and this has inspired me to bring mindfulness into my housework.

Firstly: make sure your headphones are charged!  You might want to stream something like a podcast or soothing music, maybe even a mindfulness exercise for while you are doing quiet tasks like dusting or tidying.

Second: Set aside a specific time every day to clean or tidy if you can – this will help you to be more mindful about the whole of your daily schedule as a side benefit.

Third: Be mindful of the cleaning products you have in your home – eco friendly is best, not only for the environment, but for you and your family as well.  Many chemicals used in house cleaning are having unseen effects on our health and even can affect our gene expressions, so stick to the natural stuff wherever you can.  As an added bonus, you will save money and can add your own scents to cleaners, such as steeping citrus peels in white vinegar for a couple of weeks- the resulting scented vinegar leaves a lovely aroma after the initial vinegar tang has worn off.

Fourth: When you have settled on your time to clean, and the task to be completed, try to stay completely in the moment – no checking your phone, no stopping to answer an email, no watching the news for five minutes before you ‘get on’.  In fact, unless someone has dropped by for a chat or a family member needs urgent assistance, I’d suggest you do your best to stay on track to be as in the moment while you clean as you can.  I’ve tried it, and truly, it makes the task of cleaning less drudgery and more a cleansing experience.

Lastly, light up a lovely scented candle and step back to enjoy your handiwork, knowing that you have taken time out to not only clean your home, but also to clear your mind a little.  It’s an interesting concept to think of housework as ‘me time’, but it could just work for you!

 

 

Categories
Play

October 2021 Giveaway!

Here we are in October, with the autumnal weather creeping in and the nights drawing in shorter.  I have recently been out pumpkin picking myself, and am enjoying eating the lovely orange fruits of my labours!

So now it’s getting chillier and there’s less to do in the evenings, what better way to adapt to the changing seasons and keep the cold out, than with a big bundle of lovely chocolate and wine?

Lucky for you, I have that bundle right here for you to win!  I’ve got together with a bunch of awesome bloggers to create this giveaway of a Cadbury’s chocolate and wine hamper worth £50, and all you have to do is follow the instructions below to enter.

 

Best of luck, everyone!

 

The Bloggers Taking Part

Here is a list of all of the bloggers taking part in this giveaway – please show your support by visiting them.

Gin and Gemini | Beauty Wellness TipsOur Life InterruptedMum’s Guide to Life | Kids on RollWeddings and Wishes | The Heaton Family | The Finance FettlerAll Sort of Jazz | Dharma Advise | Lula Grace | Joyfull Bite | Child Free Biz | Christmas Ahoy | Dot RankerLifestyle Saving Techniques |  Ellis Denning | Fully Money | Bossy Girl | Frugal Home Project | Lisa Cooking | The Happy Piggy Bank | Bark and Bites | Freelancer Kit | The Blogging Portal | Lifestyle of a Londoner | Doing the ImPCOSible | Adjusting the NetBalance the Budget | Life with more SparkleManifest with LoaHave a Fab DayMrs Money Pot | Wake up it’s Monday | Journalist Book | Giving is Glorious | Pink Lollipops | Positively Eco | RCS Wins | Shut Eye Music | Steely Soft | Successful Mess | In Home Insights | Interior Design Toolbox | Crafting Her Blooms | Family Loving Life | Festive Family ChristmasChasing my SunshineFashion Shirt | The Thrifty Princess | Save and Earn | Lydony | Several Ways To | Life Changing Side Hustle | Off White | Ecoralive | Insequiral |  Guide to Health and FitnessMud Pies and RainbowsThe Parenting Insider | Bubbly Nattie | Swallow Tail Games | That’s Bella | Thrifty and Minimalist | Tiny House Big Heart | Cheat Planet | Cheshire Kat Blog | The Mindful Slow Life | Mummy Vs Work | My Healthy Temple | Muff & Teacake | Oceans Of Gold | Tea Driven | The Life We Built | The Way Up Fitness | Toothbrush Packed | Valid Articles | Amaze Ball Gamer | Enviro Online | Inter ScholarsWeightloss on a Budget | A Life Less Plastic | Blogger CreationsSkinny Spending | Discount Days Out | | Our Hand Made HomeBay-Bee | Not a ClueMortgages After 60Lofpo | Houseton Marcha | It Coin | Life Of A Hobbit | Mamma Blogger | Minima Furniture | Miss Foxy Blog | Modern Rustic Weddings | Most Rolling In | Yorkshire Wedding Blog | Chronicling Home | Colourful Corner | Craving ChristmasCool Kid Crafts | 4 Kids Blog | Bells and Bouquets | Better Best You | Bitten Food | British Bride | Final Blogger | Hellaswell | Our Travel | Paper Writing | Sweet Oven Lovin | The Family Cookbook | The Good Life in Somerset | Madam Blunt | Our Green Shilling | Accounting Page | Best Workouts At Home | Bitcoin and Bets | Cooking From Frozen | Full Of Wishes | Health Beauty Show | Keene On Saving | Kiddo Co | Midnight Review | Sister Lessons | That Copper Life | Not Got A Clue | Our House Our Home | Richard and Erin | Sit And Take In The View | Slow Fashion Fanatic | Spiritual Life Learning | Christmas Geeks | Five Ways To | Michelle Amy Weddings | Money Money Money Online | Health N Beauty Tips | Pesto and Margaritas | Pots Of Pennies | Brig Knows Best | Making Money Mummy | Pale Girl Rambling | Open Hearted Traveller | Mums The Wurd | Vegan Book | Nishi V |

The prize

We are really pleased to be giving away a Cadbury Chocolate and Wine Hamper worth £50.

This hamper includes:

  • 1 x Dark Brown Wicker 16″ Hamper Basket with single clasp
  • 1 x 16 Little Black Pigs Pinot Grigio 75cl
  • 1 x 16 Little Black Pigs Shiraz Cabernet 75cl
  • 1 x 420g Chocolate Eclairs Carton
  • 1 x 185g Heroes Carton
  • 1 x 290g Roses Carton
  • 1 x 180g Milk Tray Box
  • 1 x Cadbury Bournville GIant Buttons 110g Bag
  • 1 x 110g Dairy Milk Bar

Terms and conditions

1. There is one top prize of the Cadbury Chocolate and wine hamper.
2. There are no runner up prizes.
3. Open to UK residents aged 18 and over, excluding all bloggers involved with running the giveaway
4. Closing date for entries is midnight on 22.10.21
5. The same widget appears on all the blogs involved, but you only need to enter on one blog
6. Entrants must log in to the widget, and complete one or more of the tasks – each completed task earns one entry in the prize draw
7. Tweeting about the giveaway via the widget will earn  bonus entries into the prize draw.
8. 1 winner will be chosen at random.
9. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date and will need to respond within 28 days with their delivery address, or a replacement winner will be chosen.
10. The winners’ names will be published in the widget (unless the winner objects to this).
11. The prizes will be despatched within 14 days of the winner confirming their details.
12. The promoter is Drew Media LTD t/a www.MakeMoneyWithoutAJob.com
13. By participating in this prize draw, entrants confirm they have read, understood and agree to be bound by these terms and conditions

Enter now

Simply complete any or all of the entry widget options below to be entered. You can also tweet about the giveaway daily to earn bonus entries.

Win a Cadbury Chocolate and wine hamper

Categories
Home

So You Want to Shrink Your Energy Bills?

Utility bills – UGH!  Of course, we all love our creature comforts but my combined gas and electric bill is, well, higher than I would like!  One thing I’m looking at lately is saving power more around the house, especially electricity, with the aim of being both a little more sustainable and ‘green’ and to save myself a few pennies at the same time!

There are lots of little steps to take to conserve energy, waste less and cut back on utility bills.  Here are a few you can start looking at today. 

Use natural lighting and air conditioning 

The best source of light is the big ball in the sky – the sun.  And while it might not always be around, depending on where you live, it is great to use it when it is.  Natural light is the best way to light your home and doesn’t cost anything.  So open up those blinds, pull the curtains right back and ensure plenty of that natural light can get into your home.  It can also help warm the house in cooler months if you are lucky enough to have decent double glazing and windows that face the right way to catch the sun’s rays! 

In the same way, open those windows and let that fresh air flow through the home, rather than using air conditioning systems.  Open windows don’t cost anything, and the air flow is less likely to contain any bugs that can build up in air con units.  Besides, a fly or two is hardly a problem, especially if you have a cat like I do who loves to catch and eat them.

Turn off lights when leaving the room 

Using lights is pretty unavoidable in modern life, especially in winter.  But, you can conserve a little bit of energy by turning off lights when leaving the room.  This means they aren’t using power lighting an empty room, will make the bulb last longer, and if you have left a door or window open- will attract fewer bugs into your home.  If you are a fan of smart tech, you can get connected lightbulbs with motion sensors to set up that they turn out when you leave the room! 

Energy efficient appliances 

When it comes to replacing any appliance that uses electricity, look at the energy efficiency of the new one before committing to it.  From kettles to fridges, washing machines and dishwashers, even boilers, they all have to have a rating on them with A being the best.  Don’t forget to check your laptop or pc as well, remember to switch it off at the end of a hard day’s work or gaming!

Check your home’s insulation 

One of the biggest causes of wasted energy is poor insulation.  Heat rises, vanishes through the roof and is lost.  Therefore looking at the quality and thickness of the insulation in your roof or loft can be key to improving the home’s energy efficiency.  Wool is a great eco friendly and very efficient option.

Producing your own power 

Not as wacky a suggestion as perhaps it used to be, we can now consider producing some of our own electricity right at home!  There are lots of renewable options that can be used in almost any home to generate electricity, cut down utility bills and even make a little money selling unused power back to the national grid. 

Solar thermal 

A solar panel can be used to heat hot water and works alongside an existing system.  This means when there is sunlight, you can generate power to create hot water and not need to use gas and electricity to power your boiler for the job.  You may need to get a new tank that works with this kind of system and you do need a house facing within 90 degrees of south. 

Photovoltaic 

This is another type of solar panel that creates electricity from sunlight.  You have the panels fitted to the roof so again a 90 degree of south angle is preferred.  It can be expensive to set up but if you general more power than you need, there are schemes to sell it back to utility companies.  

Not everyone will be able to produce their own electricity at this point, but we can all do more to conserve it and therefore make our homes more energy efficient.  It also has the benefit of saving money on those utility bills as well! 

Layer Up

An old school tip!  When the temperature cools and you are at home, take steps to stay warmer for longer with jumpers, thermal underthings, and blankets!  A nice touch to keep the atmosphere cosy in the winter while you are under your cosy blanket, is burning a candle or two.  You can leave the big electric lights off, and have an atmospheric lighting scheme with a couple of candles scattered about your living space.

Categories
Home

So You Want to be More Sustainable?

Sustainability is a hot topic these days, as many of us realise that if we want to carry on living on this gorgeous planet we call earth, we need to change up our lifestyles a little!

Sustainable living means reducing your carbon footprint by making changes in what you buy, what you eat, what you use to do things around the house, and what kinds of transportation you choose.

Some people think that this way of living is only for wacky eco warriors, environmentalists or those who are trying to fight climate change on a grand scale. However, there are many benefits that will pay off straight away, not to mention that future generations will thank you for it!

In simple terms, sustainable living could be described as living with what you already have and reducing what goes to waste. It’s about consuming less, producing less garbage, wasting less water, using natural resources sparingly, and looking for ecologically sound substitutes wherever possible, eg using solar power instead of fossil fuels.

Sustainable living doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming! It just requires a conscious effort on your part – that starts with what you buy at the grocery store! You could start by switching to a reusable grocery bag, getting your own coffee mug and water bottle for the office, or calling in an order from home instead of going out to eat. There are lots of small things that you can do to live more sustainably!

Here are some easy guidelines to follow:

Reduce what you use, buy less stuff, produce less, consume what you have.  Make a list before you do food shopping and don’t buy more than you need- wouldn’t you rather have a few extra pennies than throw away those perishable goods you didn’t really want or need?

Purchase products that are reusable or recyclable instead of disposable, like glass water bottles, fabric shopping bags and re useable coffee cups.  Also remember to finish up products, don’t just throw things away when you have bought a replacement.

Recycle what can be recycled, aluminium cans, glass jars, many plastics, and think about composting what’s not able to be recycled.  Many councils have a food bin service to take away scraps for composting which is a great idea. Take used clothes to thrift shops or to a garment collection service for re-use or recycling.  If it ends up in the bin it will sit in landfill unable to rot down.

When we use these three steps in our life, we create a sustainable lifestyle and are not contributing to what is known as climate change. By reducing what you buy, what goes into the trash, or what’s wasted in general, you’re helping reduce what contributes to greenhouse gases in our atmosphere!

Categories
Garden

Conserve Water, Lower your Bills

Water Conservation: Tips to Reduce Your Usage and Lower Your Bill

While it might not seem it, not in the UK at least, water is a precious resource.  After a damp summer it seems crazy to advise you take care with your water, but it is growing more scarce.  So, it is a good idea to conserve it in every way possible.  It is a good thing to conserve water in your household!  You are doing your bit to keep your water bill low, as well as helping the planet.

Turning Off Water While Brushing Your Teeth

I always turn the tap off when I brush my teeth, so I was surprised to meet my partner who didn’t.  He walked around the house scrubbing away, and just let the water just run down the drain – what a waste!  I tend to wet my brush, turn off the tap, and then only turn it back on again when I need to rinse.  A fraction of the water used, and no risk of a flooded bathroom if you forgot to take the plug out of the sink 😉 

Take Shorter Showers

Another thing that shocked me about my other half – the time he took in the shower!  I mean, what was he DOING in there?? I’ll tell you: nothing.  Just standing under the red-hot water and letting it wash away.  The average shower is typically 8-10 minutes, but I spend about 3-4 minutes on an average day.  One tactic to try is to get wet, switch the water off, suds up then hop back in, water on full after you’re done lathering up.  This doesn’t work in my house as it is freezing for most of the year, so I just get wet, lather up and rinse off quickly.  Top tip- invest in a shower cap so you don’t need to wash your hair because it got damp in the steam!

Catch water for plants while it heats up

If you’re waiting for the hot water to get up to the right temperature, grab a container and catch the cold water. You can use the cold water for house plants, or wherever else you need it.  My mum does this for every tap and actually catches enough to water all of her house plants!  A double win.

Catch Rain Water for Watering Plants

One successful way to conserve water and live more sustainably is by catching rain runoff from your gutters that will eventually end up as wasted water. Get yourself a water butt and attach it to a gutter, and catch the water from when it rains.  I love my water butt, and my plants love the rain water far more than the chemically treated stuff from the hose!  Every time I fill up a watering can from the water butt I feel smug about not having to pay to use that water on my thirsty plants.

Take Showers instead of Baths

Believe it or not, a shower can use less water than a bath. Filling up the tub takes more water than you need to bathe in. Years ago I switched most of my baths for showers – because my bath leaked terribly into my downstairs neighbour’s flat.  So I had no choice!  Now I have a bath tub and actually, it’s more of a treat to reserve a bath for after a strenuous day, or as a reward.  Light a candle and put a facemask on, and it’s like a spa experience.  This is something I didn’t do when I took a bath more regularly!

Fill the Dishwasher Up

Using a dishwasher actually uses less water than handwashing dishes.  While I haven’t tested this myself, I hope this is true as I love mine!! This topic has divided many a household-  how to stack the dishwasher!  However your household does it, make sure you only run the dishwasher when it is full. This way, you conserve water by not running the dishwasher three times when once would have sufficed.

 

Fill the Washing Machine up

Just the same as the tip above, running the washing machine a load of times when once would have done is not only wasting water, but also detergent, electricity and also – your time.  How often do you really want to be hanging out wet washing?  I’d like to keep it to a minimum myself! Top tip- make sure you have at least 7 pairs of pants and socks, and a few staple outfits to see you through, so you don’t need to run the machine to wash a vital item!

Fix Leaky Taps Immediately

This sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t get a leak sorted immediately?  Well we didn’t…  It was one of those jobs that just kept getting put off, until one night, very late in the evening, someone managed to pull the tap out of the wall thanks to a worn away washer.  This created a massive gush of water flowing for ages before we could switch the water supply off (our stopcock is cunningly hidden).  This not only wasted a LOAD of water, but it meant the ceiling in the kitchen below has got stained, and I had to wash a LOT of wet towels the day after it happened.  So don’t make my mistake, get in contact with a plumber right away! One dripping faucet can waste gallons of water quickly.