Dale asked me this morning when we got up if I’d made any plans… well funnily enough, no! I had a morning spin class in the garage and apart from that, bugger all.
My intentions, as usual, were to be productive after I’d done spin, but it’s just gone 4pm as I’m writing this and literally… I showered, published a blog post, ate lunch and then had a nap. That’s it. That’s been my day. I’m not even sorry to be honest!
I still have 3 whole days left to be productive… honestly the rest of the day after a spin class I’m just totally done in. I thought exercise was supposed to give you energy?! It’s all lies…
I will probably have a little bit of a potter about this afternoon and in to the evening, as Dale has gone out to a wedding. This means I have to get my own dinner sorted, so I actually do have to get back up off my ass at some point…
Even to turn the TV on, I need to actually get up… currently all I can hear is the neighbour singing along to Bon Jovi and it’s not exactly the soundtrack I want for a Saturday evening.
Reggie and I have had a lovely cuddle though, which is always the best. He’s now currently laid across the foot stool in front of me, absolutely fast asleep. I love him so much.
I’m going to make myself tuna pasta for dinner, although the only pasta we’ve got in the house is spaghetti. It feels weird to have that with tuna although I know it’s technically all the same. I think I’ll stick a film on while Dale is out too, I fancy watching Dirty Dancing. We’ve been binging New Girl on netflix and there’s an episode where Dirty Dancing is bought up and I’ve been wanting to rewatch it ever since.
This certainly isn’t the return to blogging that I planned but here we go…
I no longer work Fridays, so today started like any other day off.
I got out of bed when Dale went off to work and I walked Reggie. Came home, had some breakfast. Did a bit of tidying up before getting ready to out for an appointment.
I went to my appointment with no hiccups, then met my mum in town for some lunch. We had a great catch up, actually sat inside Costa with actual coffee cups and were about to head to Boots. “How long do you have left for your parking?” She asked me… as I got my phone out to check the time, there it was. A notification from NHS test and trace.
Being rather an anxious person, my initial reaction was of course blind panic. Immediately I felt ill, as if I’d just been told I actually HAVE Covid-19. My mind raced and I realised I needed to head straight home. Mum helped me to switch my rational brain back on and reminded me that I’ve already had both my jabs and besides… I’ve not felt ill until right in that moment. So to go home, take a test for peace of mind and just make the most out of the situation. I’m always craving more time at home and here it is!
I was exposed on the 19th June and only just being notified on the 25th, so it’s 5 days at home.
If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s being home with no plans, so 5 days is nothing! Although it does concern me that I’ve been going about my business for almost a full week, before being notified of the exposure… Luckily I’ve only been to work, wearing PPE, so actually it’s pretty ironic that on one of the rare occasions I’ve ventured out to anywhere else, I was “exposed”.
First things first was to let work know so I rang my boss whilst walking back to my car. Luckily I would only miss two days and can easily make up most of that time. So may as well enjoy the time off… there’s always plenty to do at home, Reggie loves the company and I can make plenty of candles and wax melts.
I calmed down and got home, tested and it was negative. Phew.
So time to get on with all this extra time at home…
I’ve been struggling to stick with any kind of blogging schedule for a little while and fell out of love with it all as a result. I’ve been trying to kick my butt in to gear and make a grand return, just not quite managed it yet. So I’ve decided to make a diary style blog series about how I fill my time. Plus of course, it means I can work on the many drafts I’ve started over the last few months! Stay tuned, I hope you’re all safe and well.
Let me know in the comments if you’ve had to isolate recently and how did you fill your time?
Happy Halloween! My current obsession is all things candles and wax melts, so what better way to celebrate the best day of the year that with a round up of my Halloween collection? Some are really old but I do also have some new items in the collection – if they’re still available to buy then I will include a link. None of this is an AD of affiliated in any way.
Witches Brew by Yankee Candle
These are a good few years old now but they’re great to keep bringing out! I have it in a jar and also a votive, which is in the silver holder that is pictured below. The spider web jar holder is also an old purchase from Yankee. Unfortunately I’ve found that in the UK, the Halloween collections from Yankee in recent years have been pretty lacking!
The scent is very much patchouli centred, which I LOVE. I honestly can’t get enough of patchouli which you might know from my autumn collection, as well as my Lush haul!
Skeleton Candelabra-style tea light holder
I got this a few years ago on a trip to San Francisco, funnily enough in a Christmas shop… but they had a HUGE Halloween section as well, so I was in my element. I very carefully bought this back with me, along with some candlesticks that bled red wax – hence all the red wax drips. I hadn’t actually realised at the time that this was meant to hold tea lights! So once I was home, I precariously melted some tea lights and then balanced the candlesticks in them, it worked a charm, and now this just comes out as a decoration.
I’d like to get some more drippy candlesticks for it in future, but I can’t for the life of me find any… they’re all non-drip these days?!
Pumpkin Jar Candles from Sainsbury’s
At least I think these were from Sainsbury’s, it could have actually been ASDA… I actually have four of these bad boys, cause let’s be honest – you can never have too many pumpkins at Halloween!
Skull pillar candle from ASDA
This is such a cool candle, considering it came from ASDA. The wax in the middle is red, although unfortunately it’s a non-drip… like I said, I can never find a drippy candle these days. I did try to pour some of the wax down the side once, for effect ya know, but it didn’t really work as you can see by the pink blob on the right hand side below.
Forbidden Apple by Yankee Candle
Another golden oldie from Yankee! This one smells like… you guessed it, apples! It’s super fresh but somehow still spooky?
Poison Apple tea light holder from Shop Disney
This is a recent purchase but alas, I can’t find it on the website now so I guess it’s no longer available. I saw this on an Instagram ad and absolutely had to have it… it’s a lot bigger than I thought it would be but a very cool addition to my Halloween collection!
Check out the back too…
Haunted House tea light holder from Sainsbury’s
Another Sainsbury’s find – their Halloween stuff is actually always pretty decent, especially in the bigger stores. Unfortunately this year I didn’t go and have a look for anything but maybe next year Halloween can get back on track!
This was surprisingly hard to get a good photo of, but you get the idea!
This is available on other sites I know, but cauldron candles was the first place I saw it advertised on Instagram and it’s where I eventually nabbed one from – they were out of stock everywhere, for ages!
I also nabbed a few of their handmade wax melts, which I HIGHLY recommend!
First up, Spellbound, which has a fragrance of hyacinth, violet and sweet pea, mixed with rose and musk.
I also got a couple of skulls, which come in various scents.
Dark Heart, which comes in black and smells of smoky tobacco and dusty oak, with leather and spice.
As well as Evenstar, which is purple with a glowing amber blend and notes of spice and dark balsamic fruits.
I also nabbed Pumpkin King, which I just couldn’t leave behind! Just as you might expect, he smells of pumpkin as well as a hint of sweet caramel & vanilla – and he’s cute as a button to top it off!
Lastly, I also treated myself this year to the… Autumn Collection box by CushtyCo
The box itself is no longer available, however you can still shop their Halloween and autumn scents.
I want to write a full review of the box so for now I’ll just give you a sneak peek of the Halloween inspired melts…
Witching Hour is a dark purple melt, with a strong scent of amber, patchouli and incense, plus a hint of jasmine and violet.
Pumpkin Poison Pie which smells exactly like a pumpkin pie, funnily enough… right down to the buttery base. Just don’t be tempted to take a bite!
Restricted Section definitely smells like a bath bomb that I’ve had before, although I can’t think which. CushtyCo says “Take a walk into something from a story book, musky, woody tones of antique wooden furniture, crisp sheets of paper from rare leather bound books, with a slight undertone of sweetness.”
Dead Man’s Chest smells so good that I very may well have to become a pirate after all… “Top notes of Bergamot, orange, raspberry and Mahogany. Subtle middle notes of Orchid, lilies, clove and amber with bottom notes of Vanilla cream, patchouli and sandalwood.”
Jack’s Haunted House is next and another absolutely amazing scent. If this is what ghosts and spirits smell like, then I don’t mind! You can almost taste the pumpkin and allspice.
Monster Breath is not as gross as you might think, it turns out! I’ll be honest, this scent does make me think of soap but that’s not exactly a bad thing. The melt is a gorgeous green colour, with tones of sandalwood, cedarwood, green leaf and amber. You can also detect the spices, particularly pepper in my opinion.
Last but by no means least in this brief little summary of CushtyCo’s melts… Coffee With A Vampire. All I’m going to say is… After Eights. It’s fricken heaven in a wax pot.
Stay tuned for a full review of all of these amazing wax melts in a couple of weeks time! I’ll be honest, I don’t actually want to break them all but they’re calling out to be melted so I suppose I’m going to have to.
Which was your favourite in this collection? Do you have many Halloween candles yourself? Let me know in the comments!
Welcome back to my blog and here we are for another autumn themed post, this time… nail colours! Coincidentally, these are all Essie shades. I’m in no way shape or form sponsored by them, I just generally seem to always gravitate towards their polishes! These are all older colours as I’m yet to get my hands on the 2020 Fall collection, although don’t they all look stunning?!
In the mean time though, these are some other shades that I personally think are perfect for autumn:
1. Yes I Canyon
Typically, the first polish I’ve picked out from my personal collection isn’t widely available anymore BUT the colour is too perfect for me not to include it. Yes I Canyon is from the 2019 Rocky Rose collection and although it’s not technically available anymore, you can still find it on the likes of Amazon. It’s a lovely burnt orange colour which just autumn in a bottle really.
This one is from the Wild Nudes collection, although don’t be fooled, as I would say it’s more of a green rather than nude. You can still get hold of it from some sites too, like this one.
Shades of green are nice transitional colour for autumn I find, a bit like when all the leaves start to turn.
If you’d prefer something more neutral, then grey is usually a safe bet. I’m actually wearing this colour right now and find it to be a lovely universal polish that will compliment any outfit, what’s more, it’s still widely available!
4. Smokin’ Hot
Here we have another shade of grey but this time with a hint of smooth dark purple, for when you want something a little different but still not too colourful.
If you’re in the UK like me then you can get this one on the likes of Amazon.
Seeing as we’re in the run up to Halloween now, any nail polish collection wouldn’t be complete without a jet black shade!
This staple colour is very much still available from places like Boots etc.
6. On Mute
For something not quite black, but still dark as a spooky soul… this dark slate grey shade is perfect!
7. Say It Ain’t Soho
Back to the warmer colours now… this is such an awesome colour for autumn. Pumpkin orange tones, check… shimmery, check! This was from the Fall 2018 collection so not widely available anymore however it does look quite similar on nails to the new Don’t Be Spotted, if a little deeper in colour.
8. Penny Talk
Another metallic colour but something a little more neutral than Say It Ain’t Soho… this is such a pretty colour for autumn!
9. Clothing Optional
Maybe don’t take the name of this one literally, especially with how the weather can be in the UK at this time of year!
This colour is a classic nude, with a lovely warm tone which to me definitely makes it just right for autumn.
10. Style Cartel
Finishing this list with something slightly different! I wasn’t going to include this one as I’m not sure how I feel about royal blue in autumn… however it’s very similar to the new Shade called Waterfall in Love, so here we are!
I still have a bottle so I’ll get it used up before purchasing the new blue as I don’t like to have too many similar ones!
Which out of these is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!
Who can believe we’re about to enter September? It doesn’t seem right to me at all… March feels just like yesterday! This year hasn’t exactly been the best for anyone I think, so I suppose it’s not necessarily a bad thing that it’s flown by.
That being said, August seems to have been a busy month and so I thought now was a good time for some reflection before we enter my favourite season… Autumn.
What did I achieve in August?
Firstly, non-blogging related – Bought a new car – If you follow me on Instagram, then you may have seen my recent reel showing of the car that Dale and I have bought. We went for a Mini Countryman Sport and I love it! There are a lot of luxuries that I never knew I needed, like heated seats and Apple car play… but not only that, it’s a really sturdy car and I actually feel really safe and secure whilst driving. Writing this makes me feel like I should have written a full review!
Planned content for the rest of the year – turns out that coming in to Autumn inspires me and then I was already on a roll so carried on for Blogmas and up to the end of this year!
Hello everyone and welcome back! In this post I’m going to share with you my final thoughts on the LadyBossBlogger course* that I have been taking, and the amazing results I’ve had so far.
If you entered the giveaway, then don’t forget to head over to my Instagram to find out if you won!
I mentioned previously that I have been really stuck in a rut lately with my blog and wasn’t sure how to really move forward, or how to succeed. Then I started the LadyBossBlogger* course, How To Start A Money Making Blog and can honestly say I have found a whole new love for my blog.
Elaine Rau‘s course starts from the very beginning, so I was able to completely refresh my mindset and discover my “why”, as well as reconsider my niche (take the quiz if you’re not sure what you want yours to be!).
Before LadyBossBlogger, I was just aimlessly writing and not really considering who my audience is, or what they might want to hear. These are all topics that are covered in the first 25% of the course*, so I think that reflects just how much there is to learn.
“If you’re writing blog posts without a defined goal of what you’re trying to accomplish, you’re tossing work in to the wind hoping something will stick.”
This is exactly what I was doing before this course! I’m now looking forward to implementing what I have learnt when I write my future posts, rather than racking my brains on what I feel like writing about week to week.
What I particularly appreciated throughout the course*, was Elaine’s honesty in sharing all of her knowledge in every aspect of blogging. I think it would be easy for someone to keep all of this to themselves, but Elaine has shared everything she knows in order to help others succeed.
Elaine encourages you from lesson one in a way that feels personal, helping you to figure out what kind of blogger you are. Then on top of that, she helps you to figure out your strengths and how to utilise them, as well as the resources to help you with what you need to improve on. For example, those of us that are more in to the writing side of things but not the design – Canva is your friend. I can definitely vouch for this!
I won’t give too much away, but so that you know what else to expect, the course also covers:
I wasn’t focused on any of these things before now but seeing as I’ve already noticed an increase in my blog traffic, I’m incredibly excited to move forward and continuing putting all of the great lessons from this course* in to practice.
Some more key points I have learnt during the course* are:
It’s important to read other people’s blogs but also use them as research too – Elaine suggests some of the top bloggers in the most profitable niches, so I’ve also found some great new bloggers to follow!
You should be solving a problem or answering a question for your readers
Blogging is more than just writing a great post
You can supplement your blog with a YouTube video and/or podcast – something I definitely want to explore in the near future
Don’t be afraid to reach out to brands!
Celebrate the milestones – all of the little ones, not just the big ones
There is no such thing as an oversaturated niche
Try your best and give it your all, the worst thing you can do is nothing!
It’s ok if you want to explore more than one niche (phew!) …but do narrow it down
All in all, I’ve learnt more from this course* than I could have ever imagined.
Thank you SO much to LadyBossBlogger and Elaine Rau for sponsoring this post. Some links in this post are affiliate and are marked with a *. If you purchase the course using my affiliate link, it will be at no extra cost to you but it does mean I earn a commission. I’m so grateful for your support and want to make sure you know that I wouldn’t promote anything I didn’t genuinely love.
If you follow me on my Instagram or Twitter, you might have seen me mention that I’ve felt a bit stuck in a rut with my blog over the past couple of weeks. I’ve started to feel a little bit like it’s not going anywhere anytime soon, which is frustrating to say the least, especially when I don’t really know how to rectify that! I thought about courses but was really put off my costs and how vague they seemed, would it really help or would it just be a waste of money?
Start A Money Making Blog* is broken down into easy to follow sections and is engaging right from the start, to the point that I actually feel excited to work on my blog again. The course* is broken down into the following categories:
Discover your “Why”
Find Your Niche
Claim Your Blog Domain Name
Create Your Target Audience
Design Your Brand
Set Up Email Marketing Strategy
Blog Marketing Strategy: Social Media Foundations
Learn WordPress Basics
SEO Best Practices
Curate Strategic Content
How To Make Money Blogging
Understand The Legal Aspects
How To Promote Your Blog + Brand
So, as you can tell, there’s A LOT of learning to do and the course* covers literally everything right from the beginning of starting a blog! That doesn’t mean it won’t be helpful if you’ve already started though. I’m nearly a year into my blog but have still learnt so much already… considering I’ve only completed 5% at this stage, that’s pretty impressive.
The main points that I have taken away so far are:
Your content needs to be of value to others, not just yourself
The importance of scheduling posts and setting up an email list
Focusing on your mindset – you need to find your purpose, your WHY. The first part of the course really focuses on this and how to get to know yourself better, which I thought was particularly great.
You don’t need to be an expert right away – it’s ok to still be learning!
The thing that hit me the most… be ok with where you are in your journey
All in all, I’m very excited to get well and truly stuck in to the course* and start implementing everything that I learn along the way. There is a real personal touch and I can tell already that Elaine is right there for every step of the way.
As well as A Money Making Blog course, LadyBossBlogger also has a great course on How to Make Money As An Influencer. If you head over to my Instagram right now, I’m REALLY excited to inform you that I’m running a great competition to win either one of these courses for FREE.
In the meantime, I also have a 40% code you can use! Head over to LadyBossBlogger and use KATIEWATT. Additional LadyBossBlogger Resources are:
Stay tuned for my FULL review and giveaway winner!
Firstly, thank you SO much to LadyBossBlogger and Elaine Rau for sponsoring this post. Some links in this post are affiliate and are marked with a *. If you purchase the course using my affiliate link, it will be at no extra cost to you but it does mean I earn a commission. I’m so grateful for your support and want to make sure you know that I wouldn’t promote anything I didn’t genuinely love.
I vowed several years ago that I wouldn’t bother making resolutions at New Year anymore, as I often set myself up for failure and disappointment. However, I do always find that you can’t help but to reflect at this time of year, hit refresh, and set a few goals.
You may or may not know, that the main reason for my recent absence from blogging is due to having not long moved house. My boyfriend and I bought a lovely new place together but, there was a gap in moving from the last place in to the new one – with it being a busy time of year in general, and still going to work full time, things have been a little bit up in the air! Now that we’ve been in a few weeks, busy making it our home, and in to the New Year, I feel like I can get back in to a routine again and set some goals for the next 12 months and beyond. So, hello, again! These are the 8 things that I would like to acheive, or work towards, this year:
Write more. I have always enjoyed writing, hence starting this blog. However, I put it off for far too long to now end up quitting, or not give it the effort to keep it going! Not that I’ve wanted to quit, but unfortunately, when life gets busy, it’s the first thing to let slip. I want 2020 to be the year I develop as a writer and a blogger.
Read more. As a kid, if I wasn’t scribbling down my own random stories, I had my nose in a book instead. As life got busier, it wasn’t just writing that went on the back burner, my tendency to read diminished also. I often find I’m too tired now, or it’s just easier to stick something on the telly instead and not have to think too much. How lazy is that?! However, my collection of books keeps growing and I owe it to them to get them read! I’d like to finally make sure I set aside time in the evening to read, instead of sitting on my phone… it shouldn’t be a challenge, but unfortunately, I think it could be a tricky habit to break.
Worry less. This doesn’t really need explaining does it? I worry far, FAR, too much and frankly, I need to chill out a little. I’ll never not be a worrier I don’t think, but it’d be nice to learn to try and just let things go a bit more, and not care so much about what others think.
Walk 1000 miles. Country Walking Magazine do this every year now, but this is the first year I’m giving it a proper go. I often do a few miles at the weekend, but doing 1000 in just a year might be a challenge. I’ve done 8 so far, so at least I’ve now made a start. In fact, I’ll be keeping track on social media with the tag #walk1000miles for anyone who is interested.
Get a dog. Now that we’re in a bigger house, and can actually be home more, this WILL be the year we get a dog. It’s not even an option anymore, I need a pup in my life!
Look after my health. I know for some people, this might not be something you need to actually work on, but for me, it’s something I haven’t been overly great at for the past couple of years. I let stress get on top of me, I don’t eat enough veg, and I definitely don’t have a good skincare routine. As I’m getting older, I’m realising that I take my health a little for granted perhaps, so I would like to work on that this year and we’ll in to the future.
Drink more water. In the same context of looking after my health, I must drink more water. I actually only ever used to drink water during the day and rarely anything else. Then a couple of years ago, I started drinking coffee… Since then, if I’m thirsty, I end up making another coffee, instead of just having water. Lately, I’ve been feeling really dehydrated, and well… that’s just no good is it?!
Get organised. My biggest challenge of all, and to be honest, probably my resolution every year since I was old enough to need to be organised for myself… I am not organised, plain and simple. I buy a diary every year and never use it, I double book myself constantly, I’m always late and just generally never prepared. It’s time to improve – I won’t say it’s time to change, because to be honest I don’t think I ever will, but I can at least TRY to be more organised!
So, there we have it, in writing, the things I would like to achieve in 2020. It feels like more of a commitment if it’s written down, or is that just me?
I’m already off to a good start, so I feel like this year could really be a good one! If you’ve made it this far, please do let me know your goals for this year in the comments and see you again soon!