Vogue Parody: 73 Questions With What Abbie Says.

me at heavens gate

Hello! This tag has been swooping round the blogging world recently and I was mega touched to see one of my favourite blogging pals Tanya had taken part AND tagged me to get involved with it as well.

If you don’t already know, Tanya is the wonderwoman behind the blog Glam Glitz Gloss which covers everything from beauty, to food, to lifestyle and dating and all the nitty gritty personal bits in between. Her style of writing is as sassy and informative as she is IRL I could spend hours reading her rewrite the telephone book. Now if that wasn’t enough for you, not only does SuperTan work full time, have a bustling social life, run her own blog she also runs The Live Review providing readers with fun and insightful reviews to everything worth seeing in London. I swear she must have more than 24 hours in a day?!

So back to this tag then hey? As you’re reading this, just imagine that it’s exactly like the Vogue videos and I’m traipsing around my luxe Beverly Hills mansion as I’m typing this not that I’m really sat in my bedroom still living at home with my parents. So settle in, here goes!

1.What’s your usual Starbucks drink?

My go to is probably a vanilla latte. In the summer I’d probably opt for a iced peach green tea lemonade and in the Winter I’d go for a gingerbread latte or an eggnog latte.

2. What does your work station look like?

Messy! I can usually organise it for about a day but I’m the type of person to leave lots of little notes all over the place, a whole host of different fluffy pens and notebooks and biscuits and a cuppa. I’m sure it’s probably dead stress inducing for everyone else but I know where everything is and everything has it’s place. Well that’s my excuse for it all anyway!

3. All-time favourite food?

Italian food. I’ll have a caprese salad to start, some sort of delicious pasta or pizza for main course and a ginormous helping of tiramisu for dessert and an amaretto sour to drink. Bellissimo!

4. Favourite author?

Sophie Kinsella. I think I must have read every single one of her books and have loved them all. They’re such feel good, perfect for holiday books.

5. What do you think of open relationships?

Everyone is different and what works for someone might not necessarily work for someone else. So perhaps because I don’t necessarily ‘get’ that lifestyle; I find it hard to understand how a loving relationship could exist between more than two people without someone feeling left out or jealous.

6. What’s your favourite video game?

When I was younger I was obsessed with The Simpsons Hit & Run. Now though, I still really love The Sims but I always end up spending longer on styling the sims or designing the house than I actually do on proper gameplay!

7. What’s your guilty pleasure treat?

Anything sweet really, I have a massive sweet tooth so anything from cakes to brownies, sweets, ice cream or chocolate without sounding like a little Veruca Salt but I’d want it ALL. Or a weird guilty pleasure is gherkins. I am  O B S E S S E D.

8. Your favourite movie?

Goodfellas.

9. Favourite book?

To Kill A Mockingbird.

10. Best advice you’ve ever received?

It’s always better to make a decision than to make no decision at all.

11. Twitter or Instagram?

Twitter 100%. I’ve distanced myself from Instagram in the last few months as I’ve just found it to be quite toxic. I don’t like how it made me feel inadequate in myself, my looks and how boring I really am.

12. Are you a desktop or a laptop person?

Laptop. I think I’d be more disciplined if I had a desktop though for some reason. When you’re laying in bed on your laptop it’s easy to get distracted and end up in a Youtube black hole watching dogs seeing their military owners for the first time in ages *sob*.

13. What projects are you working on right now?

I’m working on fine tuning my blog. I’ve had a bit of a switch up with the theme and layout and am working on a whole host of new content. As I grow, my blog is going to grow with me so I’m hoping it’ll be reflected in the posts I’ll write.

14. What’s your favourite colour?

I really like rich colours like a deep velvety blue or emerald green.

15. Did you get good grades in school?

I coasted quite a lot throughout school. I didn’t enjoy it and I didn’t want to be there so I didn’t really apply myself properly. I’m sure I could have tried harder. I got B’s and C’s in my GCSES and the same in my A Levels. I never knew what I wanted to do other than earn money so by the end of sixth form I was just desperate to leave and get a job as soon as I’d be finished.

16. Dream job?

I’d quite like to own my own bar or pub mainly just to give my best Peggy Mitchell impression. Equally I’d love to be involved in charity work or something investigative so I’d feel like I was doing some good in the world. Or failing all that I’d quite like to be an official chocolate biscuit taste tester.

17. Played any sports?

I used to play netball at school.

18. Do you have a degree?

I do not.

19. Nationality?

British.

20. What’s your favourite type of blog post to write?

I quite like writing anything personal.

21. What do you like to collect?

I love reading and have an ever growing book collection. One day I hope to have  massive bookshelves in my future house and I can show off all my books. I like perusing charity shops and finding old books, ones with thin, fragile pages with little notes left behind from the original owner. Plus they have that lush old book smell.

22. Describe yourself in 3 words?

Short attention span.

23. If you were a rapper, what would your rapper name be?

Ablicious.

24. Who was the last person you DM’d?

Abby Clare. Who’s a total babe btw.

25. What’s on top of your wish list right now?

A new car.

26. Sorting House?

Hufflepuff.

27. How many tattoos do you have?

None.

28. What are you most grateful for this year?

Being alive, having a loving and supportive family and living in a safe part of the world. A lot of these things I take for granted. When I see on the news horrific things happening all around the world or even closer to home it always makes me feel quite thankful I live in such a safe, albeit quiet town.

29. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you this month?

I had a lovely pamper day getting my hair fixed and I’ve had the best stats on my blog to date.

30. What’s the best thing that’s happened to you today?

I made myself a boujee lunch and an old work colleague I haven’t spoken to in yonks reached out saying they wanted to meet.

31. What’s the best thing ever?

Chocolate.

32. Favourite season?

Autumn.

33. Favourite holiday?

Halloween. I love scary films, spooky things and I love getting all dressed up. I went to Fright Night at Thorpe Park two years ago with a friend and it was so much fun.

34. What fictional character do you relate to the most?

A subtle blend of Eleanor Shullstrop from The Good Place and Midge in The Marvellous Mrs Maisel.

35. Do you like surprises?

NO. I hate not knowing things and especially the thought of a surprise party would fill me with dread.

36. What’s the biggest surprise you’ve ever had?

I came home from sixth form one afternoon and my mum and sister had bought two puppies and they were running around the garden wasn’t really something I was expecting to see at all.

37. What’s the surprise that made you cry?

I don’t think that’s ever happened to me! I feel kinda heartless saying that but I don’t really cry a lot and my friends and family know I don’t like surprises.

38. What’s the best surprise you’ve ever given someone?

I bought my family a three course meal at The Ritz for Christmas.

39. Do you like muffins?

Yes, blueberry muffins are my fave.

40. Do you cook often?

Yes. I love cooking and baking. I probably love baking more so though.

41. What’s your favourite dessert?

Crème brûlée.

42. Is there a dessert you dislike?

Rice pudding just looks so unappetising and I don’t like the texture at all.

43. Cake or pie?

Cake.

44. What’s your least favourite food?

Olives.

45. What’s your favourite condiment?

Mayonnaise.

46. It’s 4am on a Saturday night, what would you eat?

Chips with mayo.

47. If you could teach a college class, what would it be called?

The Subtle Art Of Looking Busy When You’re Really, Really Not.

48. Best animated film?

The Emperor’s New Groove.

49. What has a guy done or said to impress you?

I’m very lucky that my best friends are boys and they’ve always treated me wonderfully and set that bar high.

50. The best thing to do on a first date?

Anything fun or out of the ordinary!

51. The worst thing to do on a first date?

Go to the cinema. Unless you’re doing something afterwards where you can chat or talk about the film it seems a bit pointless to go sit in silence in a dark room with a tango ice blast with someone off Tinder.

52. What’s the funniest pick-up line a guy could use on a girl?

Do they ever work?!

53. Best comic book character?

I’m not really into comics or anything to do with Marvel but Tin Tin is pretty cool isn’t he?!

54. What are three things that are always in your purse?

My phone, money and my glasses.

55. Favourite drink?

My favourite soft drink is a lemonade or my favourite alcoholic bev would be a nice gin and tonic.

56. If you could play a historical figure in a movie who would it be?

Cleopatra.

57. Kittens or puppies?

Puppies.

58. Tell me your favourite sushi roll?

Good vegetarian sushi can be hard to come by. I really like the Inari Nigiri from Yo Sushi though.

59. What kind of lipstick do you use?

I tend to wear a matte dusty rose shade so it’s a perfect amount of colour and nude.

60. What kind of foundation do you use?

I tend to always stick to something matte looking. After using MAC products for years in the last 18 months I’ve taken a back step and stopped purchasing anything from brands that test on animals and have just been using up any old makeup or skincare products before repurchasing brand new items. The foundations I’ve been using lately though have been a mix of a Dead Sea Spa Magik CC cream, which applies quite thickly, and NYX high definition foundation.

61. Blow dry or air dry?

In an ideal world I’d have a blowdry all the time but I tend to air dry as much as possible.

62. Who is your fashion icon?

Zendaya.

63. Favourite Disney Character?

Cinderella. When I was younger I would watch the film over and ovvvvvvveeeeeeer again.

64. What are you doing tomorrow?

It’s Saturday tomorrow and I have no real plans. I’m hoping to do loads of blog writing and get my bum in gear with loads of content.

65. A movie you laughed the hardest through?

Mrs Doubtfire.

66. A movie that made you cry?

Click.

67. If you could sing a duet with someone, who would it be?

Lewis Capaldi.

68. If your life was a song, what would the title be?

The Eastenders Theme.

69. What’s your favourite animal?

My Dog is my favourite animal.

70. Favourite illustrator?

Quentin Blake. Seeing the illustrations reminds me of being little.

71. A person you want to have coffee with?

Rylan. I bet he is such a hoot.

72. What country do you wish to visit?

Every single state of America.

73. Best way to decompress?

I like to turn my phone off and watch one of my favourite films in bed with a load of things to munch on. My Big Fat Greek Wedding and M&Ms is the perfect way for me to switch off and not think about what’s bothering me. OR getting out of the house and doing something with friends.

The 12 Bloggers I’m Tagging to take part in this tag are:

Ross

Gillian

Kamilah

Abby

Alisha

Flo

Kaylea

Faye

Laura

Ar

Megan

Emma

Once again, Tanya thank you so much for tagging me in this it’s been so much fun! I hope you all give Tanya’s Vogue Parody post a read too, it’s made me realise just how similar we actually are!

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Sunshine Blogger Award #2

Sunshine Blogger Award #2
Hello! With the UK currently basking in the glorious weather and sunshine (blink or you’ll miss it I’m sure) what better time to write up the Sunshine Blogger Award post that Ross from Man Vs Adulthood kindly nominated me for. These style of posts are underrated and are one of my favourites to both read and write. I love doing these posts and if you want to have a little nosey at the other Sunshine Blogger Award post of mine from last year I’ll post a link to it just here! These simple posts are easy to read and easy to write, one of the many reasons I like them as they also help you to get to know the blogger behind the blog, is a good way to introduce yourself to other bloggers that have been nominated and also it’s a little bit of fun really isn’t it!? Similarly Ross is one of my favourite bloggers too. I’ve known him for a little while now and he’s always been one of the people I’ve seen who praise and highlight other bloggers, making friends and being so kind and supportive which is what this lovely community is all about!
If you haven’t already, I would totally recommend checking out his blog and his Sunshine Blogger Award post (read it here) He was fab enough to have been nominated twice so have a read of both sets of questions and answers to delve a little deeper into Man Vs Adulthood. 

So the premise of this blog ‘award’ is to nominate those bloggers that you think spread positivity, kindness and are generally just little rays of sunshine. 

The rules are as followed:

  • You must thank the blogger that nominated you and link back to their blog or their original post. 
  • List the rules for this award and a snazzy logo or picture of it in your blog post.
  • Answer the 11 questions from the person that nominated you. 
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and set 11 fun questions for them to answer.

Questions from Ross:

  • If you had to pick an actor to play you in a film who would you pick?

Emily Blunt or Olivia Coleman. I think they’re both just great. Or if it wasn’t a Hollywood blockbuster and just a channel 5 documentary I’d cast Kim from Eastenders. What a woman. 

  • If you could do anything as a career what would you do?

Mmm I think I’d want to be something like Mr Benn (showing my age with this one aren’t I) and have a new job and new adventure everyday. I have a really short attention span and get bored fairly quickly. I like the idea of being a writer, or a charity worker or even a property developer. It changes everyday for me at the moment I really love the idea of opening up my own pub or bar…Not just so I can go full Peggy Mitchell and scream ‘Gerroutta ma Pub’ at someone. 

  • Is Pineapple allowed on pizza?

Of course. It’s amazing. I’m really no food connoisseur because when I was a child I adored the baked beans pizza. That’s how grim I am. A dollop of mayo on the side as well. Honestly you’d think I was 6 months pregnant with the weirdest cravings with the things I eat. Also I think we should be focusing this pineapple on pizza hatred towards those people who put banana on a pizza instead. I think this is a Swedish thing but if anyone has tried let me know what you thought?!

  • When was the last time you cried?

I actually don’t remember! 

  • Would you rather have all your bills wiped for life, or a Million Pounds right now?

I think I’d rather have all my bills wipes for the rest of my life. I know I’d be reckless if I had one million pounds kindly deposited into my bank account I’d have blown it all on clothes I wouldn’t even be able to send back on Asos and bought a giant yacht. 

  • In the garden, do you prefer decking or patio?

I like grass with a bit of patio.

  • In the nuclear wasteland do you think you’d survive and how long for?

I genuinely think it’s not a question of weeks or days but more of hours or minutes for me. I wouldn’t be very good at all at the survivalist stuff and i’m clumsy. I’ve always thought if I had to run for my life I’d probably die from the running anyway. 

  • It’s been a long day at work, you are chilling on the sofa with no energy and motivation. What is your go to meal?

If  I’m being lazy and going to order a takeaway I’d probably go for a Dominos veggie supreme pizza, big garlic and herb dip and maybe some garlic bread dippers if I feel like being a beached whale for the evening. If I’m going to cook for myself I’d probably have beans on toast or a jacket potato as it’s easy to do and my ultimate comfort foods. 

  • Amazon Echo or Google Home?

I don’t have either but for some reason I’m more swayed towards a Google Home. I don’t know why I feel like I’d trust Google more than I’d trust Amazon or Bing searches. 

  • If you could see ANY band or artist – dead or alive, perform who would it be?

There are so many I’d love to see. I wish I could go back in time and see the hysteria for people the The Beatles or Elvis but I think I’d have loved to have seen Amy Winehouse perform live. I was and still am such a huge fan of her music and was so sad to hear of her passing. 

  • If you could have ANY superpower what would it be and why?

I used to think it would be something like telepathy or reading minds but I’m anxious enough as it is I don’t want to hear what people are really thinking about I’d be a nervous wreck! Maybe something nice like I’d be able to heal people or eat whatever I’d like and never put on any weight.

My questions:

  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
  2. The strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
  3. If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?
  4. What is your favourite smell?
  5. What would be your dream meal? Including starters, main course, dessert and drinks?
  6. Who are your five dream dinner guests?
  7. What film/book could you watch/read again and again and not get bored of it?
  8. Do you believe in ghosts and the paranormal?
  9. If money and time weren’t a problem what skill would you like to learn?
  10. Are you a morning or a night person?
  11. Where would be your dream holiday destination?

My Nominees:

Mira

Casey 

Gillian 

Jess

Nicole

Anais

Niamh

Victoria

Alex

Kamilah

Tiffany

I’ve chosen a little selection of some of my favourite bloggers and I can’t wait to read their posts! 

T’was the Night Before Christmas.

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T’was the night before Christmas, and all through the country, dashed irritable shoppers tired and hungry. Every man and their Mother pushed and shoved with their trolley, so much for this being the season to be jolly. When I was a child, Christmas was much more exciting, with the anticipation of Santa bringing presents plus family and loved ones reuniting. The older I’ve gotten the more the festive period makes me wince,from the endless shopping and burgeoning feasts fit for a prince. It makes me sound so selfish, so obnoxious and a bit of a Grinch but I want to treat my loved ones to their own private island but am seriously feeling the pinch. Christmas should be about the presence not the presents around the tree yet here I am stressed about the silly little things that shouldn’t really mean the be all and end all to me. ~ x

 

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So Christmas for a lot of people is seen as such a happy joyous occasion spending time with loved ones, eating and drinking copious amounts of rich, decadent food til you drift off to a drunken snooze in front of the Eastenders Christmas specials. But I can’t lie, this year I have felt the complete opposite of festive and if it wasn’t for the constant reminder on the tv and in shops about Christmas I probably would have been none the wiser!

I just really can’t be dealing with how manic it is at this time of year, how you have to practically hold a black belt in Jiu Jitsu just to manage your way around a TK Maxx throughout the month of December. That you ideally need a car from Wacky Races (always a Penelope Pitstop person if you ask me) to battle for a space in Tesco and the patient of an absolute saint when those relatives ask you those same questions you get every year. Yes I am still single, yes I am *still* a vegetarian and yes my hair is different now but I’m growing out my bangs. Ok now I’m just paraphrasing but you get my drift.

I used to really enjoy the festivities and everything that came along with it but I have been feeling like a right grump in comparison to a lot of people this year. I wish I was feeling it a bit more, giving the fact it is actually Christmas Eve and at the time this goes live in exactly 24 hours the big day will be nearing it’s end. As I get older the thought of all the madness, the craziness when shopping, the fact that someone spend over £850 in my local supermarket, that the shop shelves are nearing on BARE you’d have thought a nuclear apocalypse was on it’s way. God I’m such a misery aren’t I?!

Now, I’m acutely aware that in reality there is far much more to the Christmas period than the buying of gifts or shoppin’ til you droppin’ and I’m probably just feeling it even more so as I’m feeling quite poor and that I wouldn’t be able to indulge others as much as I’d like to. There’s a pressure to show your love and adoration to someone through the gift giving when the bottom line is someone who barely knows you but can exude their wealth could buy you a rolex and someone who cares for you a great deal could write you a thoughtful card that will mean so much more.

So whatever you’re up to this yuletide, on December 25th 2018 I really do hope you have a wonderful one, whether you spend it eating and drinking copious amounts of delicious festive treats, surrounded with your family (even that aunt you don’t really like) or working because as lucky as I am, and the majority are, there are plenty who have to work, or if you don’t celebrate Christmas I hope you have a marvelous day, revelling in the peace and quiet and the one day of the year when the telly has actually quite good things on. But to sum up, you’re all absolutely mint and I hope you have the best day whatever you do. ❤

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What does PR Friendly even mean?

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The blogging community is a powerful force, one that seems to be growing in vast numbers on an almost daily basis. I’ve been been in and out of the blogging biz since 2012; way back when I was only just 17 years old and used my blog as somewhere to share my rambling thoughts, post grainy shots of what I had bought in Primark or what Barry M nail polish I was using that week. Not quite thought-provoking content with me ever eh?! I started a blog simply as a bit of fun and somewhere to fine tune my writing skills, never really thinking about it in the long term, as an actual viable source of income.

Over the years I’ve been incredibly fortunate and lucky enough to receive items gifted to me by brands for the purpose of me placing on my blog, talking about them and sharing my thoughts and opinions on them with you all. Blogging, in my opinion is fast becoming a lucrative market in which a brand can essentially get a writer, editor, publicist, marketing team, photographer and social media team all rolled into one with a blogger or content writer. Without running the risk of sounding incredibly biased, but now I’m aware of bloggers, vloggers and influencers I would trust their opinions on a gifted item much more than I’d trust that of someone who was on Love Island or Geordie Shore. For the amount of money a company would have had to have forked out to advertise in a magazine or get a celebrity to promote they could tap into the Blogosphere and get a handful of bloggers to support them instead for either just the mere price of the product or a fraction of the cost of using a celebrity to endorse it; it’s a no brainer really. 

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Attracting the attention of a brand or a PR is something I’ve always been fairly curious about if I’m honest. I know it sounds dead cliche, but it isn’t the sole purpose to a blog and if that’s the way you get into it to attract as many freebies as possible you’ll probably become bitterly disappointed. I’m sure you may even agree with me that it is is an incredibly touching thing when someone, anyone, reaches out to you and comments, or likes, or reposts what you’ve said. So when a brand says ‘Ello there! we like you a lot fancy working together?’ (I do not know why Dick Van Dyke is clearly writing them all) It is a such a genuinely nice feeling knowing that your hobby, your cheeky bit on the side, the blog you’d like to turn into a career (potentially, I don’t know maybe you do who knows??) is being noticed by actual proper non blogging folk people. 

Having said all of that I’m also fully aware some people are lucky to be able to use their blog as a source of income relying on gifting opportunities, ads and other such forms of revenue to make a living and I really can’t be any more supportive and really, genuinely happy for them! When I see people posting sponsored content or gifted reviews I’m just as thrilled to read that as I am a regular post from them. 

With being a blogger and practically living your life constantly online; your life is your brand and your brand is your life almost. Towing the line between accepting each and every gifted offer and remaining authentic to yourself can become a bit of a grey area for some. For instance, this one is a bit of an extreme example but I’m a vegetarian and for the last 6 months I have received several emails about posting about Wild Game pate’s on here and as much as I’m sure they are delicious it would be completely wrong of me to have accepted as it would be blatantly obvious I hadn’t tasted it and wouldn’t have been my honest opinions.

Similarly I mean that’s not to say if you have a niche you can only speak about one thing and one thing only. You may have started a beauty blog 6 years ago and have just moved house and want to share your renovating story with your readers. You get my drift. 

So what I’m trying to say, whilst simultaneously interrupting myself about one thousand times over, what is the secret to all of this. Perhaps you too might be one of those people that see the phrase #Prfriendly being used and it always making you wonder what that really means or even who realistically is going to be PR unfriendly? Maybe you’ve seen someone who has a smaller following than you, posts on their blog less than you but still somehow seems to be getting ALL of the PR samples under the sun and you want to be super happy for your internet friends but at the same time it kinda makes you wonder why them and not you? Do those that work in PR really sift through Bloglovin’ and Instagram searches in order to find the best people for their campaign? to what extent do brands look into the people that they ask to work with them? and do those ever popular ‘Comment your blog link, DA score and email address to be added to my PR list’ really work?

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I’ve spent the last month or so, trying to get down to the nitty gritty of it all and have the points of view from a real life PR Guru, a full time freelance writer and also from a brand who works within the blogging community too, to see what they’ve all got to say on it. I really hope this post may interest you, help you or at least pique your interest and possibly create conversation about the ins and outs of Blogger outreach. 

Jessica

Firstly to start off with we have the incredibly helpful and totally fab Jessica Pardoe also known as a PR aficionado and an all round absolute gem. She’s been a complete angel in helping me out with this. Jessica specialises in PR and blogger outreach so was the perfect person for me to quiz about everything and anything to be quite honest! I couldn’t have done this all without her help and support and if you aren’t sold on Jess enough by now please do have a browse over on her blog here at Thoughts Of Jessica. Or send a funny gif on Twitter here

what do PRs/brands look for when reaching out to bloggers?

The top thing is a blogger that fits what I’m looking for I.E. if I’m looking for someone to review a hotel, or talk about travel then I’ll only go for a travel blogger or for a blogger who’s written these kinds of posts before. It really irks me when I put out a request for bloggers and ask for something like, someone to write a recipe, and then you can tell the blogger hasn’t even properly read the request and their blog is nothing about food and they’ve never posted a recipe before. Do you get me? It just kind wastes both of our time. In terms of what I specifically look for, I like giving opportunities to bloggers who are genuine and don’t just blog for the paid posts. Cause I can’t imagine those blogs get many reads. If I head to a blog and it’s just sponsored post after sponsored post (and if the posts don’t all fit a theme) then I’ll probably blacklist it. If a blogger is genuine, and if the opportunity fits their brand then I’ll be looking to contact them. At work, we look at something called DA which is short for domain authority and it basically ranks how well established your site is. Bloggers can work on their DA in ways, but more often than not it builds itself naturally as you blog normally. I do look at social followers too, but this isn’t always relevant. It depends on the campaign and the type of sponsored opportunity.

Do they take into account the numbers/stats/media kits or do they base it off their blog content?

It’s normally blog content for me. Sometimes clients will have specific details as to how many followers they want the bloggers to have, so then it does come down to numbers, but most of the time I like to make sure the blogger is genuine, that their content suits the opportunity and above all – that they blog for their readers, and that their site isn’t just cluttered with sponsored posts that aren’t valuable. I’ll also check a sponsored post and see what the blogger’s attitude is towards them. I’ve seen bloggers before having a 100 word or less sponsored post, which is literally just a few words on a page that has no story behind it or anything. The best kind of sponsored posts are done by bloggers who make it their own, and who you can tell genuinely have an interest in the brand they’re promoting. Those are the kind of bloggers I aim to work with.

What is the best way for a blogger to reach out them and what to say?

Personally, I get a lot of pitching emails and a lot of them are so impersonal that they go straight to the trash bin. I had one the other day that read something like ‘Hi, Any posts this month?’ I had to follow up and ask what she meant, and she proceeded to say she meant sponsored posts. But I’d never worked with this blogger before. It all felt quite impersonal… Spending a few extra seconds to make your pitch relate to the PR can go a long way, we can tell when it’s a generic email. I’d say, if you have a genuine interest to work with a brand, it’s good to send an email saying why, and maybe even exampling similar work. It might take a little longer, but those extra touches go a long way and could make the difference between securing a collab and not. I also do tend to work with bloggers that I have a relationship with. If I’ve worked with them before, and they’ve got the post back to me on time and it’s been good quality, then I’ll normally contact them with new campaigns that are relevant to their blog and see if they’d like to take part before I outreach to the wider blogging community. So it pays to build those relationships.

Is there anything that would put them off like swearing in posts etc?

Not really. I think if someones f-ing and blinding on every post then I’m like, my client wouldn’t want to work with this blogger. But most of the time, this isn’t a major red flag for me. I still wouldn’t recommend it though. The biggest thing that puts me off is what I mentioned above… When you can tell a blogger is accepting every collab for the sake of things, and their blog begins to look like an advertising ground. I come across a lot of blogs where their site is 100% sponsored content, and I can’t find a genuine post they’ve written because they wanted to, or for the interest of their readers. I stay away from those bloggers because it all feels really fake. I like to work with those who have a genuine passion for blogging, and who’ll really engage with the brand.

It’s murky waters in the blogger biz at the moment but do they check for fake engagement/bots usage before reaching out?

Yessss 10000000%. I wish every PR did. At the moment there are still tools that are being developed that’ll make our lives easier in spotting fake engagement. But for now, I do always check a bloggers followers if I’m looking to work with them on a social campaign. I check their followers and their likes on Instagram normally. I can spot bots from a mile off, and I won’t work with a blogger if I do. It’s not fair on bloggers who genuinely work to get a great following. Plus, fake engagement would be of no benefit for my client, so it’s a massive no-go for me!

Arma Chameleon

From the point of view of a freelancer / blogger we’ve got the HILARIOUS lady behind @ActualAr. She’s a hoot and a half and if you don’t already stalk her Instagram stories or Twitter feed like I do (I have literally no shame…but find her tweetin’ here) check out her blog here as well. I love her honest, relaxed and down to earth approach. I don’t actually even know her name it’s like it’s kept as a Government secret I can only assume the Ar is short for Aristotle cos I actually adore everything she writes. She could rewrite my local chinese takeaway menu and it would somehow come across as the most hilarious, witty and compelling thing. 

Is there anything you’d suggest before contacting a brand or PR?

If you haven’t already done so, it’s worth putting a media kit together. You can create your own using a design app like Canva, but it’s a lot easier to use something called Webfluential (You can find the link for that here) which basically helps you put one together and collates a lot of your stats for you based on your social media profiles. It’s free too, which helps! Other things that you should try and get to grips with are your details from analytics. Brands often like to know your demographics, so who is actually reading your blog? How old are they? What are they interested in? Remember it’s important to cater to your readers when you’re looking to work with brands and PRs – it’s not going to sit well if you suddenly start reviewing washing machines if you’re a sports blogger, for example!

If someone wanted to start earning from their blog but didn’t have the foggiest clue on how much to charge how would you suggest they go about figuring that out? 

Work out what you will charge, and stick to it. It’s so easy to undervalue your work when you’re hoping to get a collaboration with a brand, but remember the time and effort that you’ll put into the post, so pitch your fee structure accordingly. Don’t let them take the piss, because if you do it once, you’ll do it again, and then you’ll never really gain traction with paid jobs.Make sure you have a terms and conditions/disclosure for work with brands and check the internet advertising guidelines carefully so you don’t end up with a nasty fine either!(Side note- I really had NO clue about this at all but here is the disclosure form from Actual Ar’s site which is so clear and concise)However tempting as it may be, don’t lift someone else’s work and use it for your own. Your blog is unique to you, and you need to make sure you set your terms and disclosures accordingly, or you will end up in murky waters. Be clear on what you will and won’t write about – it’s tempting to write any old shite for the sake of the money, but really it’s not a good strategy in the long term!

Indigo Herbs

Lastly, and no means not least I have quizzed the lovely Claire from Indigo Herbs, a Health and Wellbeing company from Somerset, England who often work with bloggers and post campaigns through Bloggers Required.

What do you look for when reaching out to work alongside a blogger?

From my perspective I’m looking for high value relevant links from the bloggers website to our product pages. For the purposes of referral and SEO. So I’m looking for a good Domain Authority; as defined by moz https://moz.com/home. (Moz measures the SEO power of website as defined by google ) so a good domain authority means the site is well indexed and visible. Social media mentions are also great as this is like personal recommendation. Anything like a giveaway of products on social media can help raise engagement of a social media post.If a blogger was to reach out to you and pitch an idea of a post what type of things would you like to see?When you are pitching you do want to share your statistics of your blog, Domain authority, monthly page visits and preferably a bit about the demographic of your audience so the brand can work out if its a good fit.

Thank you so, so much for making it to the final few words of this post. I just wanted to say a massive thank you to Jessica, Actual Ar and Claire for being so lovely and so helpful in terms of putting this all together. I’d really love to know what your thoughts are on this topic too! Have you ever reached out to a PR or a brand before? Has this post been at all helpful to you? Is there anything you agree with or possibly even disagree with?!

Once again, Thank you for reading!! A.x 

The Christmas Tag!

Hello! Sorry for the radio silence around here, I haven’t been very active on here since my attempt at Blogtober. I wish I could say that I’ve been super duper busy hence my disappearing act but truth be told I just really couldn’t be bothered. I’ve had a lot of ideas of things to write about, to post or to say but I couldn’t put them into words or fruition. Plus I felt like I had a bit of a confidence knock from Blogtober somehow, I felt like I was pushing out below par posts that I wasn’t overly proud of and was just doing it to say I’ve done something for that day.

But HIYA i’m back. I’m ready and raring to go and get my head back into the blogging zone. I must say a very special thank you to the very lovely and the very kind Gillian (who blogs here) as she has kindly nominated me to take part in The Christmas Tag she made. If you haven’t already checked out Gillian’s blog I would really like you to have a little peek, a read and especially a follow now. She’s someone that I came across in the Summer I think and I completely fell in love with her writing style, I love how chatty she comes across, like I’m getting advice and having a chit chat with an old friend. Plus I’ve always got the biggest envy for the clothes and makeup she’s loving or wherever she’s off to with her boyfriend. COUPLE GOALS.

On a side note though, I was super touched to see that I had been tagged to get involved with this post. It probably sounds a little bit silly but it does always mean so much to me when someone thinks of me in this whole blogging biz, especially as I’ve been so on and off with it all recently as well! Plus I really do love doing these types of posts, I love writing them and I love reading ones that other bloggers have done, it’s always such a fun insight into someone! So here goes The Christmas Tag!!

THE CHRISTMASTAG (1)

What is your favourite Christmas candle?

I love the Yankee Candle one Cranberry Ice or something quite mulled and spicy smelling always reminds me of Christmas!

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Wonderful Christmas Time by Paul McCartney it was one of the few that never used to play on repeat when I worked in retail!

Do you stay in pyjamas all day or dress up on Christmas Day?

As a family we all usually get quite dressed up or failing that wear cheesy Christmas jumpers!

What are your plans for the holidays this year?

We’ve got my Nanny and Grandad coming up for Christmas Dinner and are going to spend the rest of the day chilling, playing games and getting very merry.

What is your favourite Christmas movie?

Elf or The Holiday. I love a feelgood movie and I’ve watched The Holiday countless times and still obsess over Kate Winslet and the old man every time!

Do you love or loathe tacky Christmas sweaters?

I LOVE them! The cheesier the better!

Who will you be kissing underneath the mistletoe this year?

HA! I am sadly forever alone so will probably have to make do with a smooch from my pooch this year!

What are you excited for in the build up to Christmas?

The baking! I love making homemade gifts and just general little treats to snack on over the festive period!

What is your favourite Christmas tradition?

Christmas is always a big family time in my household so I always have memories of Christmas time with all the family over with lots of delicious buffet food to feast on all day long.

What is the number one item on your Christmas wishlist this year?

I haven’t really asked for anything in particular this year but I know my sister has got me a notebook I had my eye on for ages so I’m excited about that!

What is your favourite Christmas food?

My mum makes the best chocolate fridge cake that we’ve always had at Christmas time for as long as I remember! It’s got fruits, biscuits and marshmallows in and it’s so lush.

Do you shop the Boxing Day sales?

No, but sometimes I wish I took more advantage of the Lush sale!

Do you prefer to give or receive presents?

I love to give gifts definitely!

What is your favourite sweet treat for the holidays?

Quality street or any generic selection boxes are always a winner. It’s always the orange creme’s that are left behind in my house. I’m not a big fan of Christmas Pudding or Christmas Cake but I do like a mince pie. Or gingerbread!

Do you have a favourite Christmas drink?

Costa’s gingerbread latte’s or a blackforest hot chocolate are lush and keep you warmed up when out shopping all day. Alcoholic drinks wise I love an amaretto sour.

Which Advent Calendar do you have this year? Do you remember to open it each day?

I don’t actually have one this year! There’s just so many to choose from nowadays?! Back when I was younger I had a Cadbury’s chocolate one and a religious one from my Nan and that was it but now you can get gin, prosecco, candles, cheese the list goes on and on. But back when I did have one I’d always be really good at remembering to open the door each morning before school.

What is your favourite holiday scent?

I love spicy scents whether that’s ginger, cinnamon and allspice but it just reminds me of Christmas baking and holiday scents.

Are you one of those people that wish for a White Christmas each year?

Kind of! I have a really shoddy memory so I’m not entirely sure if I’ve ever actually had a White Christmas but it always sounds so magical doesn’t it!?

What makes the holidays most special to you?

Family time and spending it with those you love.

What has been your highlight of 2018?

I’ve been lucky to do a lot of things with my loving family and friends, had a couple days away with my friend to Brighton, I’ve had the support of my family to chase my dreams and do what makes me happy and I’ve seen some really cool comedy gigs with my sister too! Plus it was great having the warm weather in June and July! That feels like a lifetime ago now though!?

Once again I want to say a big, massive thank you to the fab Gillian, show her some love cos she deserves all of the praise and support!

I tag:

Jess

Laura

Ross

Hannah

Hope you all had a lovely weekend everyone ❤

What’s in my handbag?

Hiya huns! How’s your weekend been? Mine has been quite outdoorsy for a change. It’s been really sunny and warm which I think is a little bit weird for the UK nearing the end of October; considering it’s usually a bit colder and wetter around about this time!

I thought for today’s post I would share an absolute blogger favourite AND blogger basic. It’s almost like a rite of passage to bloggerhood to post the notorious ‘what’s in my handbag’ post.I fancied throwing it back to my old blog days with engaging in more tag posts and more personal posts so you can get a chance to get to know a little bit more about me. Or if you want to mug me in the not so distant future, think of this as a preview or what you could have won.

bag flatlay

For my everyday handbag I actually have a backpack from H&M I purchased last year. I like a handbag or a shoulder bag but sometimes I find that it makes my arms and shoulder really ache whereas I can just shove all my stuff in a backpack and carry it with ease. So many shops have such funky types these days. Especially ones that really don’t look like you’re about to hike up Everest which is always a massive plus.

bag contents flatlay

Aside from the loose change, endless wrappers, hairbands and receipts stashed in my bag I nearly always carry these items. I always like to make sure I’ve got paper, in the form of this lovely red leather bound notebook I picked up in TK Maxx last year and a pen. It’s so useful if I need to write a list or if I need to remember something. I mean a pen and paper are always going to be handy?! I always carry a pair of sunglasses with me as you never know when you might need some shades!

I’ve got a River Island tapestry style purse that I purchased YEARS ago actually. I like it because the pattern is a bit different and it’s actually reaally big with a clasped section one side and a card holdeer on the flap as well as a big coin section.

I carry some perfume at the moment I’ve got Paco Rabanne Black XS. It’s quite a sweet, fruity and floral scent you can wear either day or night so it’s perfect for any occasion.

I think it’s always super handy to keep a little pot of Nivea’s all purpose body creme. I love the smell it always reminds me of my Mum. Plus it’s great to use as a hand cream, to feel a bit fresher or even in the colder months to dab onto skin to avoid it drying out.

I’ve pretty much always got a couple of lipsticks floating around the bottom of my bag usually in nude tones and a pair of earphones.

Lastly, and probably most weirdly. I carry dog kibble. I have a dog and I think I must have left them in their from when I take him out on his walkies. I always carry them with me now, luckily they don’t make my bag smell!

What are your essentials you always carry with you?

MUCH LOVE. X

The This & That Tag

Hello my gorgeous little raspberry glazed krispy kreme doughnuts I hope you’re all well and are having a great day! I love doing tags on my blog, almost quite as much as I enjoy reading them. They give you that extra little chance to get to know the person behind the blog, their thoughts, opinions and funny quirks too.

So after spotting this particular tag floating about on I decided to give it a go! It’s called the This and That tag and I hope you enjoy it!

May 9 -14 _ The Red Room5th Ave. Bedfor

Drugstore or high end?
Drugstore! Even if I had the money and I could afford to splash out I think I’d still stick to my favourite high street brands. I actually only use cruelty free makeup as well so it can be a bit harder to come by when you shop high end. I love brands like Too Faced, Revolution Make up, Sleek and NYX.

Curly or straight?
I have naturally very thick wavy hair but straighten it religiously so it doesn’t look as wild. However I do also really love the look of curly hair and wish I was blessed enough to have it!

Tea or coffee?
AHH this is so difficult! I love both. If I’m having tea it’d be either sweet tea with two sugars and lots of milk or herbal tea like lemon and ginger or mint. Although I love the taste of coffee and the smell of it too. If I’m in a coffee shop I’d usually opt for a vanilla latte. Today, I think tea just wins the fight though.

Summer or winter?
Winter. I do not do well in the heat.
Early mornings or late nights?
I much prefer late nights.

Baths or showers?
Baths. 100%. They are just so relaxing. You can add bath bombs, bath oils, bubbles, bath salts, the list could go on and on. I love popping a face mask on, grabbing a good book and having a long, hot soak.

North or south?
I am a southern girl at heart. I grew up and still live in deepest, darkest Dorset which is in the South West of England. But if we’re talking about Kardashians it’d be North every single time.

Sweet or savoury?
I have the worlds biggest sweet tooth. If its unhealthy I’ll most likely want to eat it.

Cats or dogs?
Dogs. Ever since I got my puppy at Christmas 2013 I can’t imagine my life without him. Such a bundle of joy and brings so much happiness.

Lipstick or lipgloss?
Lipsticks. I’ve always had long hair and just remember getting my hair stuck in gloopy lip gloss when I was a teenager. Urgh!

Night in or night out?
A night out but not home ridiculously late so kinda the best of both worlds???

Kindle or actual book?
I don’t own a kindle but I don’t think I ever will. I love the feel of a book in my hand and my ultimate dream if I’m rich enough one day would be to have a library in my house filled with all my favourite reads and a big comfy sofa.

Facebook or Twitter?
Twitter just because I don’t have a Facebook and some of the things you read on there are just hilarious.

Silver or gold?
Silver.

TV or YouTube?
At the moment 100% Youtube. There is so much great content on there. Plus I’m a little obsessed with conspirary theory videos and there’s about a billion on there.
Frozen yogurt or Ice Cream?
Either but right now I could really go for a fro yo.

Comedy or Horror movies?
Oh definitely a comedy.

Frozen or Tangled?
Even though Frozen was and still is hugely popular I really love Tangled!

Books or Magazines?
Books every single time.

City or countryside?
City.

Coke or lemonade?
Lemonade. I actually really don’t like coke. I can’t even handle the smell.

Indoors or outdoors?
A bit of both. I like going out but I like staying home just as much.

Skirts and dresses or trousers and jeans?
Skirts and dresses. I wear them all the time and I don’t find jeans very flattering on me.

Statement eyes or statement lips?
I much prefer making my eyes stand out.

Heels or flats?
Flat shoes. I’m quite tall anyway so would feel massively self conscious at the height of a v large tree.

Thank you so much for reading this post. I tag you all to take part in it too.

Much Love x