Blog On MSI 2016

Last Sunday saw well over a hundred bloggers descend on Manchester Museum of Science and Industry right in the heart of Manchester, I was lucky enough to be one of them. We had come from all over the country to catch up with each other, meet brands, learn and share ideas all around the wonderful world of blogging.

I took a break from blogging last year after my father became seriously ill, and Blog On MSI was exactly what I needed to get myself back into blogging and feeling inspired again. It was so good to catch up with blogging friends like Tracey and to introduce Jon from JonThePhotographyBaker to the wonderful world of BlogOn.

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It was lovely to speak to brands who recognise bloggers and are willing to work with them, and actively seek them out. I really enjoyed chatting to the folks from Esdevium Games, and the ladies from Swizzels and Get More Drinks. They have some really great products that I cannot wait to share with you. I really enjoyed the demo game Jon and I played from Esdevium…and my competitive side may have come out a little. I did win though.

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The day was a huge hit, and a big thanks has to go to Laura, the MSI team and all of the brands and speakers that made it such a great event. I learnt so much from the Pinterest 101 and the SEO 101 classes – and I have so much more learning to do. There was a mix of speakers and something for everyone. My Pinterest notebook is already full of ideas for blog posts, collaborations and things to work on.

 

 

I came away from the event with so many ideas to share with you, and with lots of goodies from the goody bags to try out. I’ll be letting you know which products were my favourites and where you can get them from soon.

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Did you go to BlogOnMSI? If not, check out all of the fun over here on Twitter.

 

The Blog On MSI Ice Breaker

In just a few days time I will be attending my second Blog On conference at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. My first one was last year, and I absolutely loved it! As soon as tickets were available for this year I made sure I got mine – this one sells out fast.

The day is full of laughter, sessions full of useful advice, great brands to work with, a little wine and cake…what more could you want? They really do think of everything – including an ice breaker so that attendees can get to know each other before the day. I have decided to take part in the fun, and it might answer some questions you have about me.

Share a recent picture of you

Cashmere and Confetti About MeIf you had to describe yourself in three words?  I would say: funny, passionate, adventurous

How long have you been blogging and what made you start? I have been blogging on and off for a few years now but it is only recently that I have been really focused on it. I started as a curious teenager and came back as a woman with a voice.

What is the weirdest food you have ever eaten? I would say it would have to be shark

Who would be your 3 perfect dinner party guests (dead or alive) and why? Alan Rickman, David Attenborough and Eddie Izzard…and if that needs an explanation then we cannot be friends.

If you could live in any sitcom, which one would it be and why? I would switch from sitcom to drama and say Suits. I love the show and living with the characters would be so much fun.

Name a famous person you have met The last famous person I met was Stephen K Amos after his show in January.

Which social media platform best describes your personality and why? Instagram probably best represents me, for the creativity, quick snapshot of a moment and the ability to share with the text and hashtags underneath.

What picture do you have on lock screen on your phone / computer? A quote from the astronaut Chris Hadfield about preparing yourself for success and who you want to be. It reminds me to keep pushing forward.

How many pairs of shoes do you own? 20+.  I really like shoes, and you need something appropriate for every occasion and season.

What period of time from the past would you most like to have lived? I think it would be really interesting to see how things were in the nineteenth century or earlier…as long as I remained healthy!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go? I would love to visit South America, and fully experience the beautiful sights.

What is your guilty pleasure? I do not think I have any guilty pleasures. I like to enjoy things in life and I generally make healthy choices when it comes to food, drink etc.

What is your favourite tipple? I don’t drink much, but the occasional cocktail always feels like a treat.

If you had a magic lamp and a Genie, what would be your three wishes? Peace, good health and happiness.

Are you attending Blog On this year on 1st May? If you are, join in with the Linky hosted by Chealsea Mamma and answer the questions too!

What’s in my bag?

What's in my bag?
I am always fascinated by what women carry around with them in their handbags. I always seem to end up carrying around so many things that are unnecessary, and regularly have to have a clear out and ditch the things I do not need. This becomes really annoying after a while, especially when I have several bags that I often switch between. I have made a conscious decision to clear my handbag out each night and to ditch anything that I do not need, and I thought I would share the contents of my bag with you.
1) Phone Charger
I would be so lost without this little beauty. I have an iPhone 4s and whilst I love it, and my contract is so much cheaper than if I had a more recent model, the battery life is not so great. It is fine if I am at work, as I can charge my phone there, but if I am out and about and using my phone more frequently then I can run out of power by lunchtime. Having this nifty little gadget with me means that I am never out of power and I can tweet to my heart’s content.
I have almost every lip balm that Carmex makes. I have been using this brand since 2010 and I can always count on it to soothe and restore my lips if they are dry, and I use it regularly to keep my lips healthy and smooth. There are a huge range of products and flavours, so there will be something to suit everyone. My favourites are the original and  cherry lip balm pots.
3) iPhone
I would be lost without my phone now. There are so many things I use it for, from keeping in touch with loved ones, sending emails, taking photos and getting directions. I love the variety of cases available as well, like the tortoise shell patterned one shown above.
4) Keys
Pretty boring but necessary. I have two sets of keys with me usually, one set for work and one for home. I like to make them more interesting through keyrings. Whether they are photos of friends and family, or designer pieces, they add more personality and usually help my to find my keys as I feel the keyring before they keys.
5) Perfume – Freak by Illamasqua
Since discovering this scent in 2013, it has become my signature scent. I have three bottles and always have one with me. One is on my desk at work, one in my bedroom and one for my handbag. I love that the fragrance is long lasting and strong without being overpowering. The Illamasqua website lists the notes as follows:
TOP NOTES
Black Davana, Opium Flower and Belladonna bewitch the senses into uncontrollable lust and passion.
HEART NOTES
Poison Hemlock, Datura and Queen of the Night blossom, caress and kiss.
BASE NOTES
Aromas of Frankincense, Oud and Myrrh, addictively mesmerises and captures the senses.
6) Notepad
Whether it be for work or leisure, I always have a notepad in my handbag. I always carry a small notepad with me for jotting down blog ideas and anything else that I need to remember, and I would be lost without my work notepad. As a lover of lists, a notepad is a necessity.
7) Purse
This purse is perfect for me. It showcases my love of travel, written letters and keeps all of my money, loyalty cards and receipts perfectly organised. The design I have, Paper Planes is available online, as well as at various stores including Thunder Egg.
8) Mints
With my love of garlic and other strong flavours, I always make sure to carry some mints with me. My preference is for spearmint rather than peppermint, and the cuter the tin the better.
9) Hair Clip
I love wearing my hair down, and more often than not that is how I wear it, but sometimes you need to be able to quickly keep it out of your face and out of the way. As my hair is so thick and long, I make sure that I always have a sturdy hair clip in my bag so that I can quickly sweep it into a ponytail and then clip it up.

The British Tag

Cashmere and Confetti The British Tag

 

I saw this tag over on Little World of Beka, and she offered an open invitation to anyone that wanted to do the tag. I love the reaction that people, usually American, have to my accent, or to learning that I am British. The American friends and acquaintances that I do have are baffled but charmed by so may British things, and I thought that this would be a fun tag to do.

1. How many cups of tea do you have a day? How many sugars?
I usually have 2-3 cups of tea a day, but it can be more if I am at work. No sugar for me, I am sweet enough🙂

2. Favourite part of your roast?
It has to be stuffing. Yorkshire puddings and gravy are a close second though.

3. Favourite dunking biscuit?
It’s either a good rich tea biscuit, a digestive or a hobnob. You need a biscuit that will absorb the tea without breaking into your cup.

4. Favourite quintessentially British pastime?
Tea and cake, or afternoon tea! I love both equally.

5. Favourite word?
Pretty much any British version of swear words…but I love old fashioned words such as golly.

6. Cockney rhyme slang?
As I am not Cockney I never use them, and I cannot even tell you what many of them are.

7. Favourite sweet?
Rosy Apples! I have loved them since I was a little girl, or sherbet…sherbet is pretty good too.

8. What would your pub be called?
The Wanderer, pretty much sums me up.

9. No# 1 British person?
David Attenborough.

10. Favourite shop/restaurant?
Betty’s Tea Room for afternoon tea and Joules for clothing

11. What British song pops into your head?
Anything by Queen, or Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles as that is one of my favourite songs.

12. Marmite?
Love it, I have even tried Marmite infused cheese and rice cakes.

I don’t have anyone specific to tag, but if you read this and end up doing it let me know below and I’d love to read them!

Five Things Friday

Five Things Friday

1) David Attenborough Documentaries

Do I really need to explain this one? The man is amazing, and I would happily watch a documentary by him about paint drying. I am sure it would be fascinating. One of the things I enjoy most on a Sunday is to curl up on the sofa, wearing a face mask and to pop on a documentary. Whether is it about lions or insects, I am equally interested.

2) Strawberry and White Chocolate Magnum Ice Creams

I have always loved Magnums. The white chocolate and vanilla ones used to be my favourite, but recently that has changed. The white chocolate and strawberry flavour have the delicious white chocolate coating that I love, but the strawberry ice cream has layers of  strawberry sauce, creating a lovely refreshing flavour.

3) Macarons

Last Saturday I was out shopping with my mum and discovered the English Rose Bakery, selling the most amazing macarons, cakes and meringues. They have the most incredible flavour combinations and they are the perfect little treat to finish off a hectic day.

4) Tea

It may be my britishness, but there is nothing that cannot be made more relaxing by the addition of a cup of tea. Tea really does make everything better. I love unwinding at the weekend and at the end of the day with a hot cup of tea, and it always tastes better if I am wearing my pyjamas…I am sure that is a scientific thing.

5) Sunny Evenings

With the warmer weather finally arriving this week, it has been so nice to be able to enjoy the evenings. Rather than leaving work with the sun shining and arriving home to a sky full of clouds, I have been able to enjoy a few hours of sunshine to help me relax and unwind.

 

What has been making you happy this week?

Inner City Joules – Polyvore Outfit of the Week

Inner City Joules
I have been a fan of Joules for several years now, and I clearly remember falling in love with their classy, feminine designs that never seem to go out of style. This brand is perfect for anyone that wants to invest in a few pieces of classy clothing that will last for years without breaking the bank.
This year Joules are celebrating 25 years of business, and they have grown from strength. Their clothes are often seen on stars such as Mary Berry and Great British Bake Off 2013 Winner Frances Quinn regularly wore the brand on the show as she is a babywear designer for them. They clearly like cake!
The idea for this outfit came whilst I was out shopping (as they often do) and the weather changed about four times in less than two hours. In Manchester, an umbrella and jacket are a must. It really does rain as often as people say. I love the fitted style of the jacket, and it would be perfect with a huge range of outfits. I can just picture myself going shopping in this outfit, and stopping for coffee in a cafe whilst I jot down all of my ideas for the blog in the lovely notebook.
Joues currently have a sale on, and the bracelet and purse are currently on sale. Both can be found here along with so many other items to tempt you.
Are you a fan of Joules? Let me know!