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.

 

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.

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!

Five Things Friday

Five Things Friday

1) Train Journeys

My trip to London this week has reignited my passion for travelling by train. I love being able to relax and read a magazine as mile after mile of Britain flies past my window. Sometimes I watch the views for the whole journey. For me, the journey is just as important as the destination.

2) My Bed

After such a long and busy week, I have been looking forward to climbing into bed at the end of each day. Sleep is so important, and everyone knows that a lack of sleep can effect your looks, concentration and mood. I always try to get plenty of rest, but sometimes things get in the way. This week, I have been doing all sorts of little things to make going to bed an even more relaxing experience. Things such as new bedding, new pyjamas and overnight face serums all add to make it even better.

3) Time with my Dad

It was Fathers Day on Sunday, and although we did not do anything special on the day I am taking him to see the Minions Movie and then for dinner tonight. I love spending time with my dad, and it is so nice to see how close we are. I am sure that there will be lots of laughter today, and I am so glad that I get to spend so much time with him.

4) Fleur DeForce

Is there anything that I need to say about this lovely lady? I love her videos, and there is always a new product, tip or brand to discover. See her New in June video below.

5) Good Friends

My life has been full of great times with even greater people. We are all at different stages of our lives, but each one of these fantastic people have taught me about life and about myself. Some are people I have only known for a year or two, others I have known for half a decade. Having dinner and chatting about anything and everything will always be one of my favourite ways to spend my time.

Red and Black – Polyvore Outfit of the Week

Red and Black
There is a time in every Lady’s life when she needs to Vamp it up, and dress to kill. For me, there are outfits that give me added confidence, and that I know make me stand out. This has been especially useful for me at work, when I am often initially overlooked due to my age. Having these outfits makes me stand out, and gets people to notice me without needing me to make a point.
This Outfit of the Week is one that I would love to be able to afford, and is Vamped up to the max, but could easily be replicated without having to break the bank. I have a very similar dress for George and patent heels are easy to come by at stores such as Primark, Office and Next.
What is the outfit that gives you the most confidence?