Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Blog Chat Tuesday- Four for the Road

I love the new friends you make through blogging, but I also really love friends who blog! As you know we recently started at a new church and were instantly welcomed by the lovely Sarah & Adam who blog over at Four  for the Road. Sarah is joining me for Blog Chat Tuesday today. So flick the kettle on and let's catch up!



1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? 
Sarah - I'm a 28, a wife, a sister, a working mother of two and lover of coffee. I grew up on the East Coast in Norfolk, studied in Nottingham and moved to Chester 18 months ago. I'm part of an awesome church called Vineyard53 and enjoy being part of community life where we live. Although I may have fairly lofty ideas of living abroad one day.

2. Can you tell me a little about your blog? (i.e. whats it about, how did it get started etc?)
Four for the Road was created as a online diary, documenting our city move. It's main purpose was to keep our friends in Nottingham updated on our Chester life. It was also a way for me to scrub up on some of my photography skills and make use of my camera. Our blog has been on  journey of its own. Now the focus is more on marriage, places to visit in the NW. We  hope it provides also a little insight to how we do life with a faith and what it means for us to be part of a church.

3. What's your favourite thing about blogging?
I love the community which forms around it. There is a massive parenting blogging scene and it's been so insightful reading tips, advice and very honest reflections on how raise small people. I do follow a few lifestyle, fashion and travel blogs too. These are an amazing escape to a life of beautiful things and places. 

4. What's your least favourite thing?
The guilt. The guilt when you don't post or haven't got anything queued up on Buffer. I must bear in mind we are very much part-time bloggers and not get to bogged down in this. I am fairly computer and fancy design software illiterate. I could never blog without Adam. I may write a bit of the content but Adam does all the fancy bits. I need to try harder.

5. If you could write any other type of blog what would it be?

If someone would pay me to travel, I would write a travel blog. But i'd really like to focus on slightly less touristy places. I'd love to spend time in different communities and document about how society functions in other places. I'm sure there is much to be learnt from other people and cultures.

 6. Do you have any blogs that you'd recommend?

A Cornish Mum - writes a lovely family blog down in Cornwall, and also blogs about life with type 1 diabetes
You Baby Me Mummy - has a great series on blogging tips and how to increase followers
Oana Befort - is an artist from the US. Her blog is full of lovely family snaps and pieces of her work. Great photo inspiration.
Adam likes reading Man Made DIY, but he never does any of their DIY projects.

7. What three things would you say to wannabe bloggers?

1. Try not to over think when you write. I'm an extrovert so I write like i talk. I have to get it all down first. It will be a shambles but then I go back and edit. If I try and do this as I go along I loose my flow.
2. Don't put too much pressure on yourself. Even if you want to be a total 'pro' remember there's more to life than your stats.
3. Get in a habit of noting down post ideas as and when they come. On a napkin, with a crayon or lipstick on the mirror!
Adam and Sarah Kirkup


Thank you beautiful Sarah for joining me today. Please check out Four for the Road even just to check how cute their children are! 

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Blog Chat Tuesday- Leesha Star

Blog Chat Tuesday is back!!!! yey!

You may remember I was featured on the lovely Charlene's Blog The Life of LeeshaStar a little in May and today she's joining me for a good chinwag over a cuppa here




1. Can you tell me a bit about yourself? My name is Charlene, I'm 21 from London and I'm a university student who loves to travel the world while discovering new beauty and fashion trends. I live my life as an open book and have far too much to say about the world. 


LeeshaStarr


2. Can you tell me a little about your blog? (i.e. what's it about, how did it get started etc?)My blog 'The Life of Leeshastarr' is a little of everything. Plus size fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle and everything in between. I started blogging back in 2010 but only been taking it serious for about a year. I enjoy being able to express myself and I'm always 100% honest in everything I write. Why sugarcoat things? 
3. What's your favourite thing about blogging?I love the community, meeting so many lovely ladies who have similar interests. You can really make some friends for life blogging. Everyone is so supportive as well, if you need advice about your blog or your love life someone will support you and help you out.
4. What's your least favourite thing?Oh gosh. It would have to be the cheeky PRs. I'm not into blogging for money or free items but I know my worth and many PR companies or businesses seem to try and use bloggers to gain free coverage when it doesn't benefit the blogger at all. It's a shame sometimes.
5. If you could write any other type of blog what would it be?Mmm, I cover pretty much everything that comes to mind but I'd love to be a parent blogger. I don't have children but I like how so many bloggers use it as a diary to their children so they can read it when they get older.
6. Do you have any blogs that you'd recommend?I love so many blogs. 
&
What Laura Loves are great and I read every post. 

7. What three things would you say to wannabe bloggers?1. Be true to yourself, people will love your unique style. If you're the same as every other blogger why would they read your blog over the other 1000? Try and stand out with not only your content but how you write. 
2. Don't become a blogger for free things. Others work hard for what they get and so should you! Blog for the passion not for free things and fame. 
3. You're not going to be an international superblogger overnight, don't lose faith in yourself. Even if you have only one loyal reader, they're better than 1000 people who don't really care about you and your blog

The Life of LeeshaStarr


8. Anything else you'd like to add. Thank you for allowing me to join your blog chat Tuesday. Make sure you check out my blog at The Life of LeeshaStarr

Thank you so much to the beautiful Charlene for joining me today and for the excellent new blog suggestions. 

The Life of LeeshaStarr

Monday, 15 June 2015

2015- The First Half





I can't quite work out if we are halfway through 2015 or nearly there but either way it seemed a good time to recap the last 6 months!

January

Our New Years Eve consisted of drinking prosecco and eating dominos with my mum, stepdad and nephew (he didn't drink prosecco, obviously.. he's four!) and then playing musical beds courtesy of a hyperactive and needy Jack Russell. We were confident that we would be moving at the end of January so we started boxing our life up and went to see our new flat again.




#shardselfie
#ShardSelfie


We celebrated my mum's 50th birthday in true family style- with a big disco and some yummy food! I spent the last weekend of January with my mum and two sisters in London: seeing the sights, indulging in afternoon tea and trying on wedding dresses. I bought THE dress. 

February

Our confidence in the flat move began to dwindle. We started at a new church, Vineyard 53 and felt instantly welcome and settled. I turned 23 and we celebrated with a nice dinner, champagne afternoon tea and a chippy tea- not that I'm a girl of simple tastes! 

As has become custom I spent the weekend before our birthday with Chloe- enjoying spa treatments and Greek food. 

We did not move house and I cried when I heard estate agency adverts on the radio!

March

We pulled out of the original house move and within a few days had our offer accepted on a new flat. I tried not to get too phased and stressed by it all! 

I'm sure March involved a lot more but I can't think what!! We got to know our new Church friends including our home group. There was probably dinner involved. 





April 

We started April with a weekend in Bournemouth for Easter- beach walks, food (obviously), a bit of wedding planning. We also finished April in Bournemouth celebrating my nan's 80th Birthday with another family disco and food! Bonuses from this weekend included cuddles with my goddaughters, my make up trail and a meeting with our wedding florist. 

We didn't move house, and tried not to accept this as the norm! I decided I was officially a "tea blogger" when I was invited to a tea shop opening in Chester! 





May

WE MOVED HOUSE!!! It only took 6 months but it finally happened. We christened our flat with visitors for the weekend within 4 days of moving in- as well as hosting pre drinks for a hen party. We visited Willington Hall where we got engaged to have some engagement photos taken




I visited Surrey for a university friends wedding- this included an AirBnB stay, a jaunt into London to visit my older sister, nearly losing my toes in agonising shoes and passing out on a train in rush hour- all good fun! 

I started a slightly new venture at work which is both exciting and challenging. 

June

We started June with a visit from my best university friend and the wedding of our newest best friends from Church. We decided that we better get back to wedding planning because all of a sudden it's just over 6 months away. Eeek. 

I reached my slimmest weight since joining slimming world (this may have happened in May but June looked a bit sparse - which I guess it would since we're less than halfway through). 

and now on to the second half of 2015: 3 weddings, a trip to the Isle of Man, Andy's mum's birthday, Christmas & of course our honeymoon!

How has the start of 2015 been for you?  What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Wanderlust

Oh friends, this time last year I had just arrived on the first day of my American adventure. Whilst this year is exciting, expensive and busy it isn't allowing for much of a sunny holiday and although those 5 days of annual leave I have left this year keep winking at me I can't see them being sent lazing by the pool anytime soon! BOOO! 

So, what better way to indulge my inner wanderlust then blog about where I'd be if I could! 





Twentea Something


Where are you dreaming of travelling to?

I watched "Walking on Sunshine" recently and it made me desperate to lounge by a pool, cocktail in hand but also get involved with a tomato festival. Now, in the film they were in Italy but I am reliably informed that "La Tomatina" actually happens in Valencia, Spain. I'm also reliably informed that being hit by a flying tomato hurts. But what's life without a little risk? 

I'm also longing to explore some more of Europe. There is a possibility of a weekend break at the end of the year in lieu of my hen party, so any suggestions welcome. But, if I had more time I would love to go inter-railing. I've spent far too much time recently ogling this map and planning exciting adventures across Italy, Spain and France. 



Finally, I am dreaming of long, hazy days on a beach. I'm missing Crete at lot at the moment and wish I was visiting with my family in September (plus, then I'd have a killer tan for Chloe's wedding too). 

Where are you heading this summer? Let me live vicariously through you please!
How shall I spend my five days of annual leave?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Wedding Wednesday- Our Engagement Photos

Hello Loves, 

I am very excited to share today's post. At the start of May our wonderful friends (and wedding photographers), Matt & Esther joined us in Chester for our Engagement shoot. The resulting USB arrived in the post last week and I am speechless in admiration! They are beautiful, flattering photos which capture the beauty of the Willington Hall Hotel (where we got engaged) as well as areas of Chester. They also capture just how happy we are! I can't wait to see how beautiful our wedding photos will be. 

Now, if I could I would share them all with you, but I love a quick page load so I am just going to share a few of my favourites! 











Thank you to Matt & Esther (who, incidentally.. you should contact about your own engagement/wedding/baby photos!) 

© Matt & Esther 2015

Monday, 1 June 2015

June Goals

Happy 1st June!!! How are you? Did you have a good weekend? 




What are your goals for June? You can read my full May Goals post here. But here's how I did:

1.. Get my stone & 1/2 award- Nope. I have not been doing as well with slimming world as I had hoped but I finally hit my club 10 and I'm aiming for a loss every week. There is about 14 weeks until Chloe's wedding and I want to lose between 10-17lb soooo here's hoping for a pound a week!

2. Move house- Yes! This happened. and it's perfect. I'm hoping to post more on it very soon.

3. Sort out a budget- I did a sort of budget at about 1.30am the other morning but I need to figure it out a bit better!

4. Find a fitness class/start swimming- Nope. :-( But more on that below! What is your favourite fitness class?

So what have I got planned for June?

1. Get my stone & a 1/2 award- see above. I sooo want this. 

2. Track syns every day- I swear this is my down fall. I need to be stricter about plan.

3. Start Couch to 5K- I think I'm going to sign up for Chester half Marathon, which is a year away so I think the training can begin now!

4. Send out wedding invitations - This is proving to be a bit of a nightmare. We're having problems getting them printed but I am desperate to get these out. As soon as possible. 

5. Get organised with blogging- I have been a bit AWOL and hit and miss with blogging recently but I am determined to get organised. Hayley from Tea Party Beauty tweeted recently how she uses spreadsheet to keep organised and it was amazing (I'm sure she won't mind me sharing either). I definitely want to be a bit more like that! 

What are your goals for June? 
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