Services Your Online Business Is Going To Need

*This is a collaborative post*

If you run an online business, then there are certain services you are going to need to help with the general day to day running of your site; and to make your life that little bit easier!

This is going to be the case whether you are just starting out or whether you have been online for a little while. It doesn’t matter how well you think you can handle every aspect of your business because the reality is that you’re going to need help. If you want to know more about what we are talking about, then keep reading down below.

SEO

The first service that you are going to need is to do with SEO.

SEO stands for search engine optimisation and how often it is seen or ranked on search engines.

Now you might not realize it just yet, but SEO is going to be invaluable to your company. It makes sure that you are seen on the internet, and that your online business is not being pushed to the very back of the SERPs. Now some of the basic SEO tactics include targeted content and keywords, which are quite basic and can be done by you, but it does require a fair amount of research into keywords that you might not be aware of how to do.

However, there are far more complex tactics that are used by SEO companies, and it is best that you hire them to take care of this for you. The reason being that if you do try and do it by yourself, and you don’t actually know what you’re doing, you could end up harming your ranking in the SERPs, which will cost your business.

Management

The next thing that you’re going to need is management in various areas. As you’re business grows from strength to strength and you get busier, you’re going to need someone to manage the social media side of things, the blog, the services, and so on. You’re also going to need someone to handle contract management, and this means that you’re going to have to hire a professional company even if you didn’t have to for the other tasks we mentioned. You can find more information on this on a site like https://www.templafy.com/contract-management/,  which gives you the information that you need as to why it is beneficial for your company.

Marketing

Finally, whether or not you think you need marketing, you do. A lot of companies think that it is a waste of money, and as an online business, you might think that you are somehow exempt from needing it, but you would be wrong. Marketing helps you get seen. Marketing helps people know what you’re about. Marketing piques people’s interest and boosts your conversion rate. Marketing makes sure that you don’t have a high bounce rate when coupled with good SEO because you will have high-quality leads.

As you can see then, there is so much that marketing can do for your business. This can be done in different ways such as ads, social media posts, and even non web based tactics to appeal to a larger audience. You can find a number of ways to market your business online on a site like https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/283832.

We hope that you see now some of the services your online business is going to need and will implement them as soon as possible. Good luck.

30 Song Challenge

Hello friends! How are you doing?

I hope you’re all keeping safe, well and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones as much as you can during these difficult times.

I’ve been on social media the past few weeks probably more than I have in the last few months put together. It’s such a convenient way to keep up to date with my friends, family, read news ( unbiased accounts of that especially!) and catch up and check in with people too.

Unlike the rest of Instagram at the moment I feel like one of the very few who hasn’t made banana bread, attempted to whip up a dalgona coffee or posted a snippet of music each day for 30 days on my story.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging! You do you! I wanted to partake in the 30 song challenge on my Insta stories but I love music so much and have so much to say about each song I’d choose too. I didn’t want to bore everyone to death with about 100 posts a day.

So I’m going to be giving it a go as one long post on here instead! For all your music lovers and nosy Nancy’s I hope you approve of my musical choices…

Song 1 – A song you like with a colour in the title:

Back To Black by Amy Winehouse.

I’ve forever been a fan of Amy’s music, her songs and her unique vocals. I really wish that I’d had the chance to see her perform live before she sadly died in 2011.

Song 2 – A song you like with a number in the title:

1234 by Feist.

This song is one of my favourite, go to, easy listening songs. It reminds me of the summer. Being woken up by the sunlight coming through the blinds and waking me from my slumber. It reminds me of having slow Sunday mornings making coffee and breakfast but it also reminds me of a chick flick film I’ve seen and I can’t remember which one.

Song 3 – A song that reminds you of summertime:

Dancing in the Moonlight by Toploader.

Surely this song had to be mentioned on here somewhere at least once no???? This song reminds me of so many summers evenings out with my friends, late nights at the pub as the sun goes down orrrrr that moment when you hear the first few bars of this tune and just know you and all your mates are gonna be howling along to it like a pack of drunken wolves.

Song 4 – A song that reminds you of someone you’d rather forget:

Wicked Game – James Vincent McMorrow.

Song 5 – A song that needs to be played out loud:

Sex on Fire by Kings Of Leon.

I swear to god I could be a secret member of the band when this comes on. I know all the words and is the best song to play at the absolute loudest volume. Does it make me want to learn the electric guitar? Hell yes. Will I be good and actually stick with it so I learn? Hell no.

Song 6 – A song that makes you want to dance:

Treasure by Bruno Mars.

Such a lovely song. Bruno wrote it alllllllll about me dontcha know! It’s one of my fav dance-around-the-kitchen-in-my-pjs-as-I-make-breakfast songs.

Song 7 – A song to drive to:

Everybody talks by Neon Trees.

I don’t know what it is but this song makes me happy. Great when played up high, it’s warm outside and you’ve got the windows down in the car with a breeze flowing through your hair.

Song 8 – A song about drugs or alcohol:

Fairytale of New York by The Pogues.

Does that count?

It sounds and feels like it’s being recorded by a drunk guy warbling to it in the pub and makes enough references so I think that it does.

When I was younger I used to think it was such a lovely song… until I actually paid attention to the lyrics.

Song 9 – A song that makes you happy:

If It Makes You Happy by Sheryl Crow.

Much like Britney Spears in the film Crossroads it makes me want to scream it from the top of my lungs whilst travelling across America. Such a happy song. Also great film too if you haven’t seen it check it out.

Song 10 – A song that makes you sad:

Supermarket Flowers by Ed Sheeran is very sad and makes me a bit weepy. I know he’s not a lot of people’s favourite singer/songwriter but you can’t deny the fact that this guy is mega talented and can write some lovely words to a nice melodic tune.

In a close second is Jealous by Labrinth.

Song 11 – A song you never get tired of:

The whole of the Les Miserables soundtrack specifically One Day More.

Song 12 – A song from your preteen years:

Umbrella by Rihanna.

I chose this one because it really sticks in my mind when it came out I wouldn’t say it’s one of my all time favs and I could listen to it again and again and again aaaaand one more time on top of that.

I must have been about 11 or 12 when this song was released and I just remember it rained and rained and rained non stop for what felt like weeks. We’d have school trips and it would be raining, catch the bus to school, and it’d be raining, go out at the weekend and it’d be raining. The one common denominator was that this song was often on or on the radio in the background… If it ever comes about that Rihanna performs witchcraft low-key I wouldn’t be shocked…

Song 13 – A song you like from the 70s:

Love Goes (Where my Rosemary Grows) by Edison Lighthouse.

LOVVVEEEEE IT.

Even if it was in the terrible film Shallow Hal.

It’s such a cheerful song and the video is fab too.

Song 14 – A song you’d love to be played at your wedding:

Ill Be by Edwin McCain

But if it’s the wedding party we’re talking about then I’d definitely want cheesy party favourites that everyone can dance to like How Will I Know by Whitney Houston. But please I beg no Don’t Stop Believing. I can’t stand that song.

Song 15 -A song you like that’s a cover by another artist:

Feeling Good by Muse.

Absolutely nothing wrong with the original the vocals on that are astounding but I really like the rockier edge this cover has.

Song 16 – A song that’s a classic favourite:

Mr Brightside by The Killers.

Swear I’ll be 52 driving my future kids on a school run and still lose my mind when this comes on the radio. I’ll probably be firmly listening to Radio 2 at that point too.

Song 17 – A song you’d sing a duet with someone on karaoke:

So my obvious answer might be something like Islands In The Stream or Don’t Go Breaking My Heart but right now I’d either want American Boy by Kanye West and Estelle or Heartbreaker by Mariah Carey.

Either way I’ll be taking on the rap verses.

Song 18 – A song from the year you were born:

Boom Boom Boom by The Outhere Brothers.

Song 19 – A song that makes you think about life:

What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.

Song 20 – A song that has many meanings to you:

Despacito.

I bet you were thinking I’d say something deep and meaningful but nope. C’mon now how long have you been reading on here for?!?!

This song reminds me of drunken nights out with my best friends in 2017. I had just quit the worst job ever and spent any money I had on going out to eat, drink and be very merry.

The song gives me wonderful flashbacks to being in clubs, pubs and bars. There’s a couple fuzzy flashback moments too where there a few pieces missing from our night out puzzle.

It makes me feel a bit queasy when I remember the hangover.

It makes me feel sad because I fell out with one of those very special friends for too much of a long time and we were too stubborn to sort it out (it’s all ok now and dare I say it better than ever).

It also makes me feel a bit mad because it got overplayed so much I have to turn it off almost instantly now.

Song 21 – A song you like with a persons name in the title:

Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond.

Reminds me of my mum.

Song 22 – A song that moves you forward:

With Every Heartbeat by Robyn.

I listen to it a lot when I’m walking….so defo moves me somewhere.

How is it possible I say so many dad jokes for a 25 year old female?!

Song 23 – A song you think everyone should listen to:

Brimful of Asha.

This song forever puts me in a great mood. If I was drunk enough and had that sheer, blind confidence you only get after a couple glasses of vino I’d petition to Apple and every other phone and alarm clock maker to have this as the official wake up alarm noise.

Song 24 – A song by a band you wish were still together:

Lyla by Oasis.

Song 25 – A song you like by an artist no longer living:

Love is a Losing Game by Amy Winehouse.

It’s lovely. Heartfelt. Raw. Makes me sad she’s still not around creating beautiful music.

Song 26 – A song that makes you want to fall in love:

Everybody Loves Somebody by Dean Martin

Don’t worry Baby by The Beach Boys.

When I’m 64 by The Beatles.

Song 27 – A song that breaks your heart:

Can’t help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley.

The version from Crazy, Rich, Asians is also quite beautiful.

Song 28 – A song by an artist whose voice you love:

I can’t put Amy Winehouse again even though I’d love to. I’ll dedicate this spot to Lana Del Rey and Video Games instead.

Song 29 – A song you remember from your childhood:

Bring It All Back by S Club 7.

Song 30 – A song that reminds you of yourself:

Hmmmmmm?

So I couldn’t immediately decide so chose to ask my three best friends which song reminds them of me. Wanna know what they thought best summed me up?

Agadoo by Black Lace. Both the original and the Jeremy Corbyn version.

Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes. Which tbf is an absolute tune but also used to play allllllllllllll the time at the place of work where me and best friend met.

Heartbreaker by Mariah Carey. I’m super happy with that one!

But now I think about it properly…I think the song I like that reminds me of me is Whistle For The Choir by The Fratellis.

Tell me yours too! What’s your favourite song? Your favourite shower time sing songs?

Signing out! Much love 💚

Little things that make me happy #3

I never really thought I’d get to a part #3 of this blog post series but here we are. I really enjoy doing these, it seems like lots of people like searching these posts out too and tbh I think we could all do with a bit of lighthearted reading or happy thoughts right now.

 

  • Laughter lines.

 

  • Antiques.

 

  • Good TV series’ ending on a high note.

 

  • Disney films

 

  • Old black and white films

 

  • Being woken by the sunshine

 

  • Cold showers on a hot day

 

  • Hot baths on a cold day

 

  • That first sip of hot coffee in the morning

 

  • Sun rays

 

  • Books you can’t put down

 

  • New stationary

 

  • Warm, fluffy towels

 

  • A good night sleep

 

  • Ice lollies

 

  • Strawberries

 

  • Spring

 

  • Baby lambs

 

  • Window seats

 

  • Hearing a song you love on the radio

 

  • Hearing great song after great song whilst on shuffle

 

  • Cool breeze on a warm day

 

  • Dandelions

 

  • Seaside fish and chips

 

  • Seaside arcades

 

  • Natural ginger hair

 

  • Old pictures

 

  • Photo albums

 

  • Amethysts

 

  • Slow sunday mornings

 

  • Discovering something beautiful somewhere unexpected

 

  • Twinkly eyes

 

  • Notes left in secondhand books

 

  • Stargazing

 

  • When someone offers to give you their parking ticket as they’re leaving

 

  • Trampolines

 

  • Good neighbours

 

  • Independent cinemas

 

  • Warm cookies

 

  • Handwritten letters

 

  • Dogs excited to see you

 

  • Symmetry

 

  • Long phone calls

 

  • Independent shops

 

  • Genuine kindness between strangers

 

  • Chesterfield sofas

 

  • Flea markets

 

  • Crystal clear sea

 

  • Salty, sea water hair

 

  • Bread and butter

 

  • Children giggling

 

  • The feeling after you’ve cleaned

 

  • The smell of blown out candles

 

  • Vespas

 

  • Having a job you love

 

  • Having great colleagues

 

  • Group hugs

 

  • The first bite of something delicious

 

  • Rosemary bread

 

  • Sun tan lines

 

  • Darling

 

  • Getting inside just before the rain starts

 

  • Fresh mint tea

 

  • Toffee apples

 

  • Golden hour

 

  • Vintage people driving vintage cars

 

  • Tropical scented anything

 

  • The smell of sun tan lotion

 

  • Reading in the shade

 

  • Seeing people reunite at an airport

 

  • Sour sweets

 

  • Skincare routines

 

  • Sugary doughnuts

 

  • Podding peas

 

  • Alliterations

 

  • When two items fall together in a vending machine

 

  • Rock pools

 

  • Tie dye

 

  • Gifting homemade items

 

  • Lighter evenings

 

  • Businesses with a good pun in the name

 

  • Homegrown produce

 

  • Fresh peaches

 

  • Doodles

 

  • Letters in a bottle

 

  • Greasy spoon cafes

 

  • Country pubs

 

  • Rope swings

 

  • Treehouses

 

  • Green eyes

 

  • Candy stripes

 

  • Wild flowers

 

  • That feeling of relief knowing a terrible time is over or going to come to an end soon ❤

 

For more like this read:

Things that make me happy part 1

Things that make me happy part 2

Things to do while social distancing.

Unless you’ve been in the desert with Jared Leto and you also didn’t have any idea about Coronavirus/Covid-19 sweeping it’s way across the globe.

People all around the world are being told to engage in social distancing not only for their own health and wellbeing but also to help stop the spread of this deadly virus reaching those with underlying health conditions, those with weakened immunity, the young and the elderly.

Beforehand, social distancing sounds like a term that Gwyneth Paltrow would use to excuse herself from an event she just didn’t fancy going to.

Social distancing is supposed to work by helping to stop the spread of this virus is by keeping more people out of social environments, public areas and anywhere that isn’t essential really, thus decreasing the amount of people that could potentially come into contact with someone who’s already got covid-19 and stop it spreading further. Oh and it’ll also help lessen the strain on the health services. Win win really!

As an introvert, you didn’t need to ask me twice to stay away from busy areas, stay indoors and read as many books as I possibly could. It hasn’t quite sunk in for me how long social distancing may continue and what I’ll do once I’ve reached peak levels of cabin fever and how I’ll cope being mentally and emotionally. But I do feel quite lucky that I live in a little village, I have a garden so I could go and exercise or get some fresh air on my own.

For those of you out there that are struggling with knowing what you can to do with your time I’ve compiled a list of things you could consider to do with all your extra free time.

Read. 

Now is the perfect time to finally start making a way through your ever growing To Be Read pile that is sitting pretty on your bookshelf. Download audiobooks, E-books and start ticking off some of those classics you’ve always wanted to read but never got round to, or read some non fiction greats and educate yourselves on a brand new topic.

Hive is a brilliant place to look for new reads as they support family, community and independent book sellers.

Similarly, most libraries have either an online service or an App you can borrow an e-book from.

Create.

If I hear one more time that William Shakespeare wrote King Lear whilst he was in quarantine from the plague I swear I’ll be splitting my possessions between the loved ones that profess the most amount of love to me and running onto the moors screaming and wailing like a banshee.

There’s a weird, little undercurrent of pressure now you’ve got all this spare time to be doing something useful and productive with your time rather than just eating malteasers and watching telly. If you’re a creative and have always dreamed of following this path then why not sit down and spend a couple hours jotting down any ideas you’ve got and seeing where you could take them.

I swear you can’t be a struggling artist/writer without a struggle and tbh I think being quarantined in your own home not really sure what’s going to happen next or whether you’re going to have to eat toilet roll sandwiches for tea is a pretty solid one.

(On a real side note though…What are all these people doing with all their panic bought loo rolls?)

Take up a hobby.

I for one have always wanted to be better at making my own things. I’d love to be able to knit or cross stitch, because, not only will I be able to make my own cosy knitwear (hypothetically speaking of course…as of right now I can barely even thread a needle) but also it looks so therapeutic. I’d love to be able to gift my wares to friends and family and they can wear my crafted, scraggly scarves with joy knowing I made it just for them.

Depending where you live and what the rules are at the moment, I know that a lot of places say that you should only leave the house for work, to buy food, go to the pharmacy or an emergency. But if you have access to charity shops, they sell so much wool, knitting needles and patterns. Not only that but a lot of charity shops could do with more support than ever right now even better if you can access them online.

Similarly, I’ve always wanted to be able to properly play a musical instrument or learn to cook and bake better. Now with all this extra time on my hands I’d love to be able to browse the interweb for recipe ideas that might take a bit longer than normal and spend a little extra time and effort curating a lovely evening meal for my whole family to enjoy (hopefully).

Use sites like Pinterest to get ideas or Etsy to buy arts and crafts from independent sellers.

Play games

There’s so many fun games you can whittle away the hours with. Whether it’s online games like The Sims (they are currently heavily discounted on Origin if you wanna be tempted even further to buy a game when it’s cheap) Xbox, Playstation or even board games are a great way from switching off from the ‘real world’ and immersing yourself in another for a couple hours.

Whether you want to stick to the classics like Monopoly, Cluedo or a humble pack of cards or trying something a little different and fun I’d definitely recommend having a look online or through Big Potato Games. I know I’ve mentioned them a few times but I love the creativity and imagination they’ve put into all of their games. You’d never be bored if you’re in isolation with your family or roommates with one of their products to hand!

Jigsaw puzzles are a great way to relax and switch off too.

Learn

Do you remember when Kylie Jenner said that 2016 was the year of learning stuff? WELL turns out she had no blimmin’ clue what was coming up in 2020 did she? How is it that these past three months have felt longer and more problematic than so many previous years combined! We’ve had the threat of war between the US and Iran, the Australian wildfires were still burning and now a deadly pandemic. At this rate, would anyone be shocked if there was an alien invasion in April??

All jokes aside, if you are currently self isolating/social distancing/ in lockdown/ bored and don’t really know what to do with yourself than this might be of interest to you. The internet is a fountain of knowledge when you know where to find it all and my lovely friend Tanya, author of Glam Glitz Gloss and The Live Review,  has shared this brilliant idea with us all. The Centre of Excellence (an online learning centre) are currently offering courses for as little as £15. So if you’ve got the spare time on your hands and have always fancied learning something new or polishing up on some skills you’ve already got, this would be a fantastic way to go about it!

Money saving sites like Groupon, Wowcher and Livingsocial are also great places to look out for some good deals and they quite often also do heavily discounted online courses as well.

Use Youtube to your advantage and spend the time watching some TED Talks videos, or learn how to do some banging makeup looks from the plethora of beauty gurus on there.

Subscription boxes

Do you know how many different types of subscription boxes there are out there?? This is a rhetorical I have no idea and I can’t imagine anyone will know the exact figure either but there must be THOUSANDS. The possibilities are actually endless. Whether you’re simply obsessed with skincare, after the hottest makeup and beauty trends, obsessed with pale ales and craft beers, perhaps you’re a fan of Japanese candy and Japanese candy only or you want to do some art with the children there will be a cool subscription parcel making its way in the post to you.

I’ve worked with UOpen in the past (I shared my thoughts on the pub supper box)and was so impressed with the wide range of different boxes they offer to suit practically everyone.

Things to do

As much as I feel like I’ve seen so many examples of the worst displays of humanity lately, from people fist fighting over the last packet of toilet roll, a group of stupid teens spitting and coughing at an elderly couple or that people have been setting fire to or slashing the tyres of ambulances. I cannot simply comprehend as to why someone would do these things??? Especially at a time like this where simple decency and kindness goes such a long way.

To counteract all of this I’ve seen so many nice, random acts of kindness. I’ve witnessed so many genuinely good people wanting to help others and to all get through this and come out on the other side together. From local butchers and bakers offering home delivery services to their local customers, teachers running online classes for those missing out on learning, museums and art galleries are running online virtual tours.  If you want to use this rare, once in a lifetime moment and take some good from it why not see if there’s anything available for you to do in your local community. See if there are any voluntary roles available, check in with your neighbours especially vulnerable people or the elderly. If there’s not anything in place why don’t you offer to do a paper round, pick up essential groceries or walk dogs for those who can’t get out. Lots of supermarkets are crying out for help at the moment so if you’re really feeling the pressure of a lockdown and want to do something productive with your time why don’t you sling your CV that way and you’ll come out on the other side of this with a purse full of dolla.

Obvs it goes without saying I don’t want you to put yourselves at any extra unnecessary risk but it’s definitely something worth considering.

Watch

I am always the person in my friendship group that is behind the times. I haven’t seen a good majority of the cult classic tv series that is often met with gasps when I tell my friends I’ve never seen Lord of The Rings/Game of Thrones/Peaky Blinders/Breaking Bad/Orange is The New Black/Eastenders (Delete where necessary). Take advantage of that streaming service you fork out for every month and watch some of those shows or films you always want to but haven’t got round to yet. Disney+ has just landed in the UK sooooo I don’t want to tell you what to do with your free time but The Emperor’s New Groove is one of the greatest films of all time and if you want to solely watch that on repeat for the foreseeable future I totes wouldn’t judge you.

Try to make the best of it

I know it’s easy for me to say as I write this from the comfort of my own bed and as someone who still lives at home and gets along well with my family. But if we are all, globally, facing a health crisis where the government and hospital workers are urging us to stay indoors unless for work, to buy food or an emergency. Staying indoors and feeling a bit bored will be the least of your concern compared to the potential grisly alternative. If you’re blessed with good health and feel like this virus isn’t something that’ll necessarily affect you then I urge you to please share a thought for those that this will affect and have consequences for. Spare a thought for your elderly relatives, your friends relatives, your friends, your colleagues, your neighbours, people on low income, homeless people, I could go on but I hope you get the gist. At times like this, kindness and compassion is key; after all we are going to go through this together.

If you’re still feeling a bit uninspired feel free to browse this incredibly silly list beneath of alternative options; but please don’t hold me accountable if you dye your hair yellow.

  • Watch a film or tv show and ring a friend at the same time and it’ll be like you’re watching it together. ❤ Like the cliche moments in all the chick flicks I watched as a youth. Paul Rudd not included sorry.
  • Clean
  • Declutter your wardrobe
  • Do the cooking one evening
  • Take it in turns for your household to cook…Like come dine with me but if you rate your mam a 2 you’ll have to put up with the consequences a lot longer aaaaaaaand I don’t think you’ll get a cash prize.
  • Learn a language.
  • Give up learning a language cos it’s actually very hard
  • Watch Eastenders/Coronation Street/Emmerdale/Any other soap opera from the very beginning and try to catch up to present day
  • Give yourself a makeover
  • Get someone else to give you a makeover
  • Cry when you’ve given yourself a terrible makeover
  • Cry harder when someone else has given you an even worse makeover
  • Give yourself a fringe (DON’T! SERIOUSLY! Honestly unless you have Rihanna’s bone structure pls don’t come for me when this all goes wrong)
  • Watch every Youtube video in existence
  • Facetime friends
  • Ring your nan
  • Send a letter
  • Find a pen pal
  • Learn a dance
  • Post the dance on IG/TikTok
  • Realise no one actually cares for your dance
  • Ponder existence
  • Read all the books you’ve been hoarding
  • Eat lots of chocolate biscuits
  • See how many biscuits you’ll have to eat before you get asked to become the official face of McVities
  • Check in with your friends
  • Get the drinks in and facetime your friends and it’ll be like your having a right royal knees up
  • Learn all the words to any good song so when lockdown is over and we’re allowed to go out to play again you’ll kill it at Karaoke night
  • Wonder why you ever got rid of your PS2 cos The Simpsons Hit n Run was the best game ever to play.
  • Do a puzzle
  • CHECK IN WITH ALL YOUR LOVED ONES
  • Have a pamper night
  • Try to disengage with the news if you’re finding yourself getting anxious and stressed more often
  • Make a playlist of happy songs
  • Start a podcast
  • Make stopmotion videos
  • Paint
  • Get some outside time if you can
  • Do a buzzfeed quiz
  • Meditate
  • Take up yoga
  • Stargaze
  • Appreciate how quiet the world is without all the traffic and noise
  • Go for a walk early in the morning and see what the world looks like at 5am
  • Listen to the birds
  • Do something for charity
  • Write
  • Start a lockdown diary
  • Check in with people
  • Write positive reviews for all your fav pubs,bars and restaurants so when they reopen they’ll see all the nice things people have said about them.

 

On a real note though. I hope everyone is okay and is staying safe and well. I’m sending you all so much love and light at these difficult times and hoping we can all get through this together. I hope that if we can take anything from these darker times of life is that we cannot take anything or anyone for granted.

Until next time x

The Sun Shines Hot and The Wind Blows Cold.

Hello fellow humans.

It’s me again. It’s dawned on me recently, after nearly eight years (on and off) of blogging, I still haven’t got this whole ‘regular scheduling and posting’ malarkey down to a T.  Turns out I’m really just not very good at this organisation thing? As much as I’d love to say I am a Type A person and have a plan, list and solution for every eventuality but soz lads that really ain’t me.

Well..whew. So far 2020 hasn’t really gone the way any of us had planned has it? When I said new year new me I wasn’t thinking this new me was going to be even more of an anxious wreck than last year but c’est la vie!

I’ve been umming and ahhing about what words to use and what to say in this post. I’m trying to be extra careful with the language I use as I’m usually an upbeat, positive person, to the point where I might seem like I’m burying my head in the sand as I just really don’t want to talk about the bad things. Simply because it stresses me out, gives me anxiety and I don’t want to create a space that might stress someone else out too. I know that a lot of people might think that’s a bad stance to take and it’s not real life. I know and you know that bad things happen. No one’s life is as perfect as their instagram feed may lead you to believe. So the sole reason I do this is because it’s better for my mental health to have a space where these bad things don’t exist. Even if it’s just talking about skincare, joking about the latest tv series I’m watching or sharing all the details about the latest book I’m reading.

It seems a bit redundant in this current climate to not even mention coronavirus or Covid-19 if you’re on first name terms with the little rotter. This virus has swept it’s way around the globe, gripping the nations in a state of panic as it goes on it’s travels and I, for one, am trying (failing) to do my best to keep my head up and stay treading water amongst the madness.

I’m not going to lie. But I’m a bit scared about the future and what it holds not just for me, my family and my friends but for everyone else around the world. I’m scared for the older generations, the retail workers, the health workers, the business owners, the sick, the poorly, the homeless, freelancers, self employed, part time staff, temp staff, the low income households and everyone else in between. I don’t think I’ve got enough worry to go around to be quite honest. I’m worried about the impact that this will have globally on everyone, physically, mentally and financially.

In some lighter news, as a ray of sunshine in and amongst the dark skies right now, I’e seen so many wonderful news stories and pictures from around the world of how the environment and natural life has truly flourished since the vast decrease in pollution of late. Pictures have circulated of the water in the canals of Venice running clear for the first time in decades!

I hope when this dark time becomes lighter, things become a bit easier that we all as a human race can learn from this. The utter depravity witnessed in supermarkets of people clearing the shelves of absolutely everything is completely ludicrous and near on apocalyptic. No wonder everyone is panicking when your local supermarket resembles 28 Days Later and you fist fight Barb your neighbour for the last packet of loo roll.

Please remember in these times to support your local independent shops, show kindness as often as you can and stay safe.

If there’s any advice I can offer to those who are also suffering with anxiety and stress related to this stressful situation please go easy on yourself. I’ve deleted social media apps off of my phone that were feeding my worries and giving me stress. I couldn’t cope with the endless updates and news concerning what was happening. I avoided watching or reading the news as it was starting to consume me and really trouble me. I know it’s really ignorant of me to completely switch off from it but it was one of the few ways I could regain control of what I was reading and what was playing on my mind.

I spent my spare time devouring new tv shows, films and books spending my precious spare time with things that genuinely helped me switch off. I’ve finally started getting through my ever growing ‘To Be Read’ pile of books and have only just got around to watching Derry Girls…I’m sorry I slept on this show for so long because I now ADORE it.

In the words of Daniel Bedingfield…we gotta get thru this. Can you believe when William Shakespeare was quarantined from the plague he wrote King Lear and I’ve just finished off this post with a lyric from a Daniel Bedingfield song. Alas.

Until next time. Stay safe. x

Things that have been irrationally annoying me this week.

Hello gang. It’s me again. I’m not really sure what’s going on with me but it’s like I’ve fallen hook, line and sinker for posting as many times as possible on here. I mean there’s worse things I could have become obsessed with; I just hope my incessant typing/need for all your approval and attention isn’t getting on your nerves haha.

January is legit the longest month of the year. Financially and emotionally speaking of course, it genuinely feels like New Year’s Day was about 3 months ago. Don’t get me wrong it’s been quite a good month for me, I’ve been trying much harder with my blog and smashed my goal for this month as well as beating the amount of pageviews I had for the previous two Januarys. So I’m buzzing with that! With that said, I think as much as I like to keep my blog and my social media’s a relatively upbeat, positive place. That being said I want to take this opportunity, on the eve of brexit, to have a real ranty post. I’ve done a few posts now on listing various weird and wonderful things that make me quite happy so I thought I’d do a similar little same, same but different vibe and have a written moany rant instead.

Should I officially change my name to Simone seeing how much I enjoy a good moan and a whinge?

  • People who ask for your advice then proceed to keep asking you for your advice until you tell them what they want to hear.

This really rattles me cage. I don’t mind this a couple times y’know we all kinda just want to hear what we actually want to hear. It’s nice to feel justified in our feelings and that someone agrees with you. But let’s be real sometimes you need someone to be honest and upfront with you; whether you want to hear that or not.

  • The price of a cocktail.

Look, I like a cocktail as much as the next basic hun but why are they all so expensive? All I want is a pretty drink but why do I have to spend £15 on two sips?

  • People who don’t wave up at crossings or in their car when I let them pass. 

This is not Abbey Road and you are not The Beatles. A simple wave, a hand up, a flick of the wrist.

  • The Weather.

spoken like a true brit.

  • Dumb life quotes you see adorned on mugs or as a wall art decal on the living room wall of the girl that used to bully you at school. 

I’m talking about the ‘live,laugh,love’ people or my LEAST favourite proclaiming I’ve got the same amount of hours in a day as beyonce <<<<3333. Yes we may have the same amount of time in a day, Sharon, If anything, thanks to daylight savings time I might have a fraction more BUT I DO NOT HAVE BEYONCE’S RESOURCES. What type of dumbass thing to live by. Y’know who’s also got the same amount of hours in a day as Beyonce? Charles Manson and so does Donald Trump and so do I. So what point are we trying to prove here?

  • ASMR vids

They’re just not for me. Noisy eating makes me want to vom I don’t wanna hear that even more intensely in my earphones.

  • Business jargon

This. Frys. My. BRAIN. I cannot deal with these silly little phrases that bosses and any form of management use to feel a bit more important excuse me whilst I go ‘cascade my thoughts back down to the lower management team’ someone pls hold my hair back whilst I vom.

  • Cardamom pods

I’m sorry I just don’t like them. It brings me immense sadness when I chomp into one mid indian takeaway.

  • Brexit

As of writing this the United Kingdom has left the United Kingdom and tbh everything to do with BrExIt MeAnS bReXiT has done my head in for the last four years. I’m really hoping and praying that this monumental decision will work out okay for those it’ll affect the most and those generations to come.

  • Coronavirus

I’m trying my best not to freak out about this. I’m anxious at the best of times and I’m trying to figure out whether I actually need a reason to panic about something else. I’m not sure how much of this information I’m reading about is genuine and how much is scaremongering. I’m like is this cold I’ve got the same cold I haven’t been able to shift since Christmas or is it gen Coronavirus?????

  • When you’re telling a story and then realise no one is ACTUALLY listening…

STORY OF MY LIFE. Is there anything more eye-roll worthy than when you realise that you’re speaking about something and no one is actually listening. You try to be that despo person and make eye contact with someone to garner some attention but alas to no avail. Urgh.

  • Other drivers

I like driving but I don’t like many other drivers. Slow drivers always seem to be out in full force especially when you’re already running late (do they know srsly??) fast drivers that are literally right up your butt as you’re driving the speed limit. Drivers that don’t indicate. Drivers that indicate for ages so you have no clue where they’re off too. Want me to go on?

  • Accidental social media liking

Y’know when you’re mid stalk on someone’s Insta profile and aaaaaaaaaaaaccidentally double tap on something and whoops that big red heart appears on the picture and you can feel your belly DROP. Yeah that feeling. There’s only pictures so far back on someone’s grid you can try to blame that on Instagram’s shoddy algorithm.

  • People FaceTiming in public

Live your life, do what you wanna do, it’s a free country but it freaks me out when I’m sat in Bath City Centre happily munching on my 3rd sausage roll on a lunch break when someone sat on the bench next to me gets me in shot as they’re having a video call with their grandma.

  • Smelly food on public transport

Smelly food in office spaces also applies too. Sorry but it’s dead rude to pull out your durian smoothie and your sushi on an already hot, cramped train carriage.

  • Clothes shopping

At the moment this is something that is proper irking me. Lately everything I’ve liked hasn’t looked at all like the image I saw on screen. Shopping in a clothes store gives me the fear as it’s usually so hot and stuffy, busy and every collar has a smudged foundation stain.

  • Katie Hopkins

No explanation needed but she can get in the bin can’t she?

  • People who complain about l i t e r a l l y anything. 

You’ll find these people front and centre of any customers service desk in any shop around the world. They’ll be loud and proud on your local town’s Facebook page annoyed that the local Kebab shop has changed the brand of ketchup and it’s an absolute outrage. Get a life Janice.

  • Hangovers

JEEEESUS. I know when people said that hangovers get worse as you get older but I’ve just turned 25 and felt like death for a few days. Honestly I would welcome intense dental surgery over the after effects of a few tipples now.

  • When you see your online order is coming with a super unreliable company

Is there anything more annoying than seeing your exciting internet present is being delivered by African land snails in 3-5000 business days.

  • Jim Davidson

 

  • When you’re tired but you can’t sleep

Is there anything more annoying than when you’re laying there literally counting down the hours of the amount of sleep you’ll get and the amount is getting less and less. 

  • Applying for jobs and never hearing anything back

The job hunt is a job in itself. From polishing up your CV to scouring your local area and the web for any form of employment. So please don’t be rude and ignore someone’s efforts. A simple round robin email is suffice enough to let someone know you won’t be taking their application any further.

Aight, so that’s that for now. Before I think myself, and you lovely lot, into a proper bad mood. But before that please do indulge me in what annoys you more than anythingggggg.

Treacle Tart Recipe.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe on here and I’ve decided today to share with you all one of my all-time favourites. The British classic; Treacle Tart. Not only is this one of my favourites it also happens to be Harry Potter’s too so if you’re a major Hazza P fan and want to imagine yourself eating supper in the Great Hall why not start off with

I wish I was the type of person that didn’t have a huge sweet tooth, the type of person that doesn’t go out for a meal and feel a bit short changed if we don’t have dessert too, or the type of person that didn’t have a little sweet, sugary devil sat on my shoulder telling whispering in my ear to have another slice of cake, defo get yourself a bag of pick ‘n’ mix and a hot chocolate whilst you’re there babe.

Given the name, you might have figured that treacle tart isn’t exactly the healthiest of options as it’s quite a rich, sweet treat but it’s so delicious even a tiny, little slither will give you a sugar fix. It’s super easy to make and even easier to dollop with a blob of cream and enjoy.

A Treacle Tart consists of sweet shortcrust pastry and then filled with a delicious, sticky filling of treacle/golden syrup, breadcrumbs and lemon juice or zest. For those of your that are gluten intolerant either use gluten free flour in the pastry mixture or buy premade gluten free pastry sheets or premade gluten free tart cases. Similarly for those that are gluten intolerant you could substitute the breadcrumbs in the tart filling with a gluten free bread alternative or even use ground almonds to give it the same texture adn consistency with an interesting nutty twist on the original.

treacle tart picture

To make the pastry you will need:

250g plain flour

140g cold unsalted butter cut into cubes

A pinch of salt

2-3 tablespoons of icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

2 medium egg yolks

2-3 tablespoons of cold water

Instructions:

  1. Using either a food processor or your fingertips combine the flour and salt with the cubes of butter and blitz or rub together until it’s reached the consistency of fine sand.
  2.  Add in the icing sugar to sweeten the pastry and then the egg yolks and 2 tbsp of water.
  3. Mix together well (preferably with a metal knife) if the pasty is having trouble forming into a ball and seems a bit too flaky add in the extra tbsp of water to help it all bind together.
  4. Once it’s formed a ball shape, wrap it up and place it into the fridge and leave it to chill for 30 minutes.
  5. In this time, I think it’s a great opportunity for those that like to get ahead of the game, to be a bit more organised. Preheat your oven to 200c/180c fan/ gas mark 6. Tidy and clean up if you’re feeling extra good too.

To make the tart filling you’ll need:

400g golden syrup (told you it wasn’t healthy but it sure is good)

2 medium eggs

100g breadcrumbs (primarily a lot of people use white bread and cut off the crusts but i’ve found that different types of breads and keeping the crusts give a richer, chewier texture. So if that floats your goat and you don’t want the excess food waste then keep them crusts on!)

Zest/and or juice of a lemon

*Optional* You could add things like slices of stem ginger, powdered ginger, fruits like slices of apple, pear, grapefruit etc. I added some ginger because I really like those warm spicy flavours.

6. Now at this point hopefully you’ll have a clean and tidy workspace and your pastry will have been chilled for an adequate amount of time. Next, take your pastry and roll it out to a half inch thickness and line a fluted pastry tin and refrigerate again for another 30 minutes.

7. Once it’s chilled again for a second time line the pastry with baking parchment and baking beans and pop it in the oven for 15 minutes. Then take it out, remove the parchment and the baking beans and bake it again for another 10-12 minutes until the pastry is a perfectly golden brown colour.

8. Once you’ve taken it out of the oven, leave it to cool before trimming the pastry edges to neaten them.

9. Lower the oven temperature down to 180c/160c fan/gas mark 4.

10. In a bowl mix together the golden syrup, eggs, breadcrumbs, lemon juice and zest and ginger til nicely combined.

11. Pour mixture into the pastry case and place into the oven to cook for about 30-45 minutes or until the filling has set.

12. Serve with clotted cream or vanilla ice cream and enjoy.

Places I’d Love To Visit Across The British Isles

I really enjoy travelling to new places and exploring somewhere I’ve never been before; whether abroad or in my home country.  I’ve lived in the UK my whole life and I haven’t actually seen a lot of it, I always feel a bit silly when I think of all the tourists that come from all over the world that come to stay on these British Islands and I’ve barely seen the places other than a double tap on Insta! If you follow me on instagram you might have seen I’ve been a lot more active over on my page in the last month or two sharing my photography, what I’ve did, done and seen. Most of which is from these wonderful British Isles.

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So as you can see i’m a big advocate of exploring what’s on my own doorstep, although as much as I’d love to travel the world, I’ve developed a bit more of earth conscious over recent months and my purse is a bit conscious of excessive travelling too! Having said that I still don’t think I could afford to travel all over the UK; I’ve devised this list to share some of the fabulous places I want to add to my UK bucket list.

Winchester

Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire. It actually isn’t too far from where I live and for some reason I’ve still not got around to getting there myself! They’ve got a wonderful Christmas market each year, plenty of historic sites including the Cathedral and so many interesting independent shops and foodie spots I’m dying to try. 

London

I’ve been to London plenty of times before but there’s still so much of it I’m yet to see and do. One of my aims for 2020 is to FINALLY get round to meeting my fave ginger person and dear blogging friend, Tanya, from Glamglitzgloss fame! as she’s a fully fledged Londoner I’m hoping when we get round to meeting up when we can venture round some of the best kept secrets! 

Image result for margate dreamland

Margate

Margate is one of Kent’s most famous seaside towns and has been voted the third trendiest place in the UK. I really like the architecture I’ve seen and the amusement park Dreamland looks dead cool. I’m not sure who decided it was the trendiest place though mind, is it a bit like when your mum says you look reeeeeeeeeaaaaallyyyyy trendy…as you quickly go and change your clothes again because you probably don’t look all that trendy?

Channel Islands

I’ve been to Guernsey once when I was little and Jersey a couple years ago for a week for a work thing but I’d love to go back. If you visited these little islands in the English Channel you’d mistaken for thinking you were somewhere in the Med. They’re steeped in history, quaint and have so much character. I’d really like to go back and visit Jersey again as the main town was so lovely as were all the people. 

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Cotswolds

I’d really like to take a trip or two to all the sweet little villages dotted in an around the Cotswolds area. It’s very picture perfect and the type of towns you’d imagine on the front of a pretty postcard. 

Yorkshire

I’d like to explore the towns and villages of the Yorkshire dales. Preferably in an old land rover, wearing welly boots and a barbour jacket like I’m actually in Emmerdale. 

Liverpool

Can you tell I’m an absolute sucker for influencer marketing. I’ve been thoroughly influenced to travel up to L’Pool ASAP based solely on the things i’ve seen people getting up to, photographing and eating in and around the Scouse city. I’m a big fan of The Beatles so I’d like to see all of the touristy bits to do with that as well as exploring all the fab foodie finds.

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Newcastle

Howaaaay man how could the wonderful Newcastle not make it onto the list. I’ve been lusting after this place ever since I can remember as I’m a liiiiiittle bit obsessed with how you all speak; there must be a reason you’ve all been voted as having the friendliest accent. I want to walk alongside the Tyne river, take a trip through the underground city tunnels and go on a proper exciting bar crawl through the city like I’m actually on Geordie Shore but hopefully I won’t embarrass myself half as much. 

Edinburgh

I’ve never been to Scotland but would love to go. As a Harry Potter fan there are so many places throughout Edinburgh that I’d like to pay a visit too. I’d like to amble up to Arthur’s Seat and take in the views before venturing back into the main city and eating myself silly on all of the shortbread and tablet. Well anything else carby that I can lay my eyes on to be honest. 

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Scottish Highlands

Sticking to the Scottish style here i’d love to take a roadtrip to the Scottish Highlands. My friend and I have discussed doing it before and the logistics of getting there, where we’d want to visit and how much it’d all cost etc. I think it’s just such a beautiful part of the world with such strong, stunning scenery from the rolling hills, steep mountains and fluffy cows, it’s definitely somewhere I’d love to explore with a camera in hand. 

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Dublin

Dublin is somewhere I’d love to take a trip to. Dublin on St Patricks Day is somewhere I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE to take a trip to. I’d want to have a guinness at a traditional Irish pub, visit the brewery, trek around the pretty cobbled streets and eat enough soda bread and mashed potato to sink a ship.

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Portmeirion

Last but no means least is the pretty town of Portmeirion in Wales. I’m not really sure of the history of this place and why it’s so colourful and beautiful but looking at this picture you wouldn’t be shocked to find out this is actually a quaint little village off of the Amalfi Coast would you?

Is there anywhere you’d particularly like to visit in the UK? 

What your body needs from you.

*This is a collaborative post*

Is it the 29th of January or the 229th of January today? I know it’s my birthday month and I’ve been super looking forward to that date but even I feel like the first month of the year drags on and and on.

It can feel like quite a dark month too in fact can’t it? Like sunshine, blue skies and warm weather are a lifetime away and payday doesn’t seem to be any nearer come to think of it as well! It can be difficult to try and be positive and lift yourself out of these darker periods of low mood. Even more so if you’re stuck in close proximity to those types of people who go around and say that they feel so rotten and love to have a good moan about literally anything. You know the types of people I mean, every office has one, a negative Nancy, a whinging Wendy or a moaning Myrtle. Hopefully not all three! Honestly I don’t think these types of people are ever going to be truly happy. When it’s cold weather they wanted hot, when it’s hot they think it’s too hot…you get the gist.

It’s easy to become a whinging Wendy. When you’re feeling a bit rubbish and it really hasn’t been your day, your week, your month or even your year it’s dead simple to think yourself into a foul mood. I’m quite a positive person in reality, I always think on the brightside and my glass is half full if not crammed full to the brim. It’s a big fat no to the half measures for me thank ya very much.

I always like to think about the analogy that someone said to me once, about how humans are essentially engines, and if we don’t give ourselves the right ‘fuel’ we won’t run as smoothly as we possibly could. We need to see it as necessary for us to sometimes work on ourselves, be gentle with ourselves and towards others and to take care of ourselves so we are at the best of our ability.

Us hooomans are such dynamic things but also can be so simplistic too. We some basic needs that we have, and we don’t often fulfill all these; because life just gets in the way. For example, one of the most common is not getting enough sleep at night for instance; something of which I am absolutely RUBBISH at. Our bodies need the recommended amount of hours sleep to be able to function properly, 2.5 litres of water a day, and a healthy balanced diet to boot too. Sprinkled in with that should be a little bit of self-love and exercise and you’ll be able to conquer anything.

A Healthy Mind

A healthy mind is what everyone wants. Society is now far more aware of the problems associated with mental health, and how people spiral towards mental health problems. But having a healthy mind in this day and age is harder than it has ever been before. One of the reasons why society has more mental health problems than ever before is because of the stresses in life. It’s no so much easier to get into debt, there’s such a pressure to live a perfect lifestyle, and there’s so many negative influences that surround us. So, to have a healthy mind, we think it’s important to make sure that you’re processing the thoughts that are going on in your mind. Give yourself an outlet so that your mind isn’t go go go, all of the time, and thinking about all of the things that you need to do. Yoga is a great hobby to get into that just makes you forget it all. Plus, it’s great for your body as well!


Fewer Toxins

There are the obvious toxins that you’ll be putting into your body that you should try and stop in 2020. Drinking every weekend is a weakness of so many young adults, and the damage it’s doing to the body is huge. If you know you’re someone who enjoys a drink on the weekend in your downtime, try going for every two weeks instead. On the weekends that you’re not, go out for a nice meal or do something different. You could also think about using better products on your body. Most girls have some sort of beauty routine that they have to stick to, yet some of the products are going to have harmful chemicals and substances that your body just doesn’t need. Even down to the nail varnish that you use. The chemicals found in that can do all sorts of damage to your body. Cienna Rose is just one brand that’s toxin-free, which is much better for your body! Look for creams and sprays that are the same as well. The more natural you can go, the more your body is going to thank you in the long run.

More Love

Your body needs love. You need to feel loved and wanted in order to grow in life. So if you’ve been out of love for a while, perhaps because a relationship ended badly, this year is the time to find someone. There’s always going to be someone out there for everyone, and the joy they can bring to your life is just amazing. Try using dating apps and see if that is your cup of tea. It’s the modern way to meet new people, and people all over the world are jumping on the bandwagon.

The Basics

Back to the basics that we touched upon in the introduction. We wanted to reiterate how important it is to give your body those three simple things. You can’t function like a normal human being without them. You won’t have focus, your body won’t be regulated, and you’ll generally feel rather terrible. If you can spend a few weeks giving your body exactly what it needs every day and you still don’t feel right, then a trip to the doctors might be in order!

Most importantly, remember to go easy on yourself. Whatever you’re going through, I think you’re doing a great job. Life is troublesome enough without having to worry if you’re getting the exact amount of minutes and hours of sleep per night. If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of things you’ve got to do in a day please don’t feel like you still have a to-do list as long as your arm because things can and will always wait. I often feel quite overwhelmed about how much I feel like I’ve go to do, how much I’ve actually got to do and the fact I’d much rather stare at my evergrowing list of things to do as I lay in my very comfortable bed, watching The Office and having a right LOL.