I’M GOING through one of those fabulous phases in life at the moment.
You know, the ones when life seems to be a little more exciting and jam packed than usual.
So here’s a quick sneak peek of what I’ve been up to recently…
New additions to the family
Ok, let’s start with the most exciting news first! We have two new additions to the family and nope I’m not talking babies but guinea pigs, who are really, really cute.
Folks, let me introduce you to Elsa and Anna. (They’re ‘sisters’ you see).
ONCE you’ve been blogging for a while, the emails start appearing.
And boy doesn’t it feel good?!
Your inbox which was once pretty quiet starts to become a hive of activity and the fabulous happens – brands start to approach you!
They want to send you stuff and pay you for stuff and you do a great big leap of joy because you’ve made it! This blogging malarky is paying off you tell yourself!
You feel proud and wonderful and can see yourself, five years from now, working from a deserted beach on your laptop with a pina colada in hand.
And it is, until after a while you start to think that perhaps that kids toy you received for ‘free’ really wasn’t worth the 4-5 hours you spent writing about it, taking photos and promoting on social media.
And that, the sponsored bingo post you got paid £20 to publish, actually makes you feel a little uncomfortable now and doesn’t really tie in with what you’re all about.
Today’s post is written with love, for the bloggers.
So if it’s that’s not you, you may want to turn away now. I won’t hold it against you promise, although saying that I do think many of the principles here you could probably apply to any job or act, so feel free to stick around if you fancy.
Anyway blogger pals, I have a confession.
The other day I went right back into the Pouting In Heels archives, like right back in time and what I found, horrified me.
Because I realised that many – not all thankfully, but many – of my early posts had been utter garbage. Rubbish posts that did nothing and served no-one.
(Readers who have been with me from the beginning, I am truly sorry. And I hope to goodness, I’ve made it up to you since!)
I looked at some of them in utter horror at first and then finally, after getting over the shock, I did give myself a little pat on the back for improving so much. Because, trust me, I really have.
I’M a firm believer in going with your gut when it comes to all matters.
Because truly knowing who you are and remaining tuned into your instinct is important, is it not?
“Ignore it at your peril!” (As a psychic medium told me last year.) Oh ‘eck!
But sometimes, when we get the ol’ wibbles wobbles about stuff, we can lose our instinctive ‘ears’ and our sense of balance.
Which is why when this happens, besides standing still and waiting for the dreaded doubts to pass, you need to listen to the ‘Universe’.
You need to listen to what it is telling you and pay attention.
Go on. Try now for a minute, can you hear anything or spot anything?!
Nope? Ok, don’t worry it will come.
Meanwhile, let’s carry on…
Years ago, a very good friend of mine, once told me that signs and clues were everywhere, if only we’d look for them.
And I can remember thinking quite clearly at the time, “blimey, what’s she on about, she’s lost the plot!” (Sorry Lyndsey!)
Sorry indeed. Because it turns out I was the silly one for not believing her.
My friend hadn’t lost the plot at all. No siree.
She’d discovered it.
As far fetched as it sounds, she was right.
Whenever we need them, the Universe delivers signs. Little clues or as I like to affectionately call them ‘little nudges’.
Nudges that can’t be ignored. Nudges that knock us off our balance somewhat. Constant little jabs in the side accompanied by a ‘cooo-eeee!’
Inspiring, comforting or irritating (at times). Whatever you wanna call them, make no mistake, they are there.
And I’ll give you an example.
To rewind a little, this time last week I was feeling at a bit of a low ebb about my blog. I’ve been struggling to get a sponsor you see for BritMums Live (I know, it’s tragic huh?!) after my original one fell through and I started to feel a bit sad and pathetic.
I even said that dreadful sentence to myself “why, not me?!?!”!
Dear oh dear. I apologise for that.
Anyway, I started to think that perhaps this blog – which I love so much – is a bit of a bloody failure. Perhaps it’s not commercial enough, perhaps people don’t want to read my ramblings and thoughts on life and would rather I filled it with more stuff about brands etc.
And on it went.
I went to bed last Wednesday evening feeling rotten and sad, even shedding a few tears of frustration. In short, I had a little pity party. Roll on to Thursday morning and as usually happens, after sleeping on things, I woke up feeling much perkier.
Elsie went off to Grandmas for the day and I sat down with a cuppa, opened my laptop and checked my emails.
And then, there it was.
There it was!
A message from the universe. Or to be clearer, an email from a reader – whom I had never previously heard from- saying incredibly kind things about my blog and telling me how she’d put me forward for something.
And I cried. Great big salty tears of joy and gratitude.
Because that email was the sign I needed. A nudge which came at exactly the right time.
A nudge from the universe that said; “come on Kate! See, this IS what you are meant to be doing. You – and your gut – were right!”
That email was one of the best I’ve ever received and I’ll never forget the kindness of the lady, who contacted me. (Thank you again, if you’re reading!)
However it wasn’t the only nudge I received last Thursday, because I tell you, the ‘Universe’ was on fire!
At the end of last week, all kinds of wonderful people contacted me on various social media channels to say something really lovely about this blog. All of them completely out of the blue. Many from people whom I had never even heard from before.
And the message was clear. I got it.
What happened last week, could of course all have been a coincidence, but I’m not going for that. Because to me, it was a clear message, from somewhere up there, that I need to carry on this path.
And that when we need answers, they will come.
In some way, in some shape, in some form,as if by magic, answers will appear.
The ‘Universe ‘(or whatever you want to call it) will come into play and show us the way. Or at least give us an elbow or two.
It may not be in an email. It could be a sign you see as you drive to work or a text you receive from a friend.
Maybe you find that a ‘brick wall’ you’ve been banging your head on for ages, has suddenly disappeared and that things start to suddenly be falling into place or – and you might not like this one – things start to go wrong for you, for a while.
Call it the ‘Universe’, call it ‘The Secret’, call it magic or call it a plain ol’ nudge.
But if you find yourself careering off track, don’t worry. In my experience, an elbow or a helping hand will always appear when you need one.
And as for me?
Well who cares if I can’t get a sponsor? Who cares if some brands don’t want to invest in me?
The most important thing is that you guys DO.
And you can give me that over money, any day of the week. Thank you x.
P.S The ‘universe’ also told me to launch a new style blog about two years ago. And after fighting it’s messages for months, thinking “are you crazy?!” I actually decided to listen in the end and so low and behold, today it has gone live!
If you’ve got a spare minute – and ‘the universe’ is ok with it (!) – I’d love for you to pop over to my new site To Dream Of Dresses and let me know what you think. Thanks folks and don’t forget to tell me about the signs the ol ‘Universe’ has shown you recently! x
I AM nervous and excited today.
Nervous and so bloody excited, because tomorrow, my new style To Dream Of Dresses finally goes live! *takes a deep breath*
It’s taken ages to get it ready, much longer than I had hoped (yep, I’d completely forgotten just how much work it takes to get a blog off the ground!) but finally, finally it is all ready to go.
I don’t want to give all the game away nor ruin the big launch, but let’s just say ladies (and gents) – if you like dresses, I think, well I sure as hell hope, that you will love it.
To Dream Of Dresses is a style blog with a difference, a style blog with serious soul and even though the blog is very much created by me, it is has been created for YOU.
For all of you, who have dresses in your wardrobes that you can’t bear to be parted from. For all of you who love to swoon over the Oscar gowns and pick your favourites. For all of you who have fond memories of a fabulous frock.
There’s something incredibly special about the dress as a garment and I can’t wait to celebrate this all with you, starting from tomorrow!
Please do pop by if you can at some point to have a look and let me know your thoughts. The new site is desperate to open its doors and welcome new visitors.
And please, please, don’t ever worry about this ol’ blog of mine, my first blogging baby, because Pouting In Heels is going absolutely nowhere.
It remains my personal online space, my first blogging love and service will continue as normal. It’s just that I’ve decided to add a really fancy wardrobe to my blogging house, that contains some really fancy dresses. *winks*
HUGE thanks to everyone who has supported and followed my new blogging venture so far! Now just keep your fingers crossed, that the tech gremlins are held at bay.
See you tomorrow. The frocks and I cannot wait to welcome you! x
To Dream Of Dresses – www.todreamofdresses.com
THERE are millions of blogs out there, including this one.
Millions of people sharing their thoughts and lives on a regular basis, for you to enjoy.
But how do you find ‘the one’?
The blog that speaks to you. The blog that makes you hang onto every word. Your blog soul mate.
How the devil do you track them down and introduce them to your busy, hectic life?
On this blog, I’ve talked often about blogging – how you can improve your blog, what blogging has done for me and the realities of being a blogger.
Yet, it occurred to me the other night whilst I was sat having my tea, that I haven’t really covered blogging, for the reader.
For you guys! – most of which (to my knowledge) – are not fellow bloggers.
Besides being a blogger myself, I am a huge blog fan. Indeed, the majority of stuff I read these days, is not in magazines or on news sites, but on blogs.
Brilliant, brave, beautiful blogs.
Reading blogs has opened my awareness, encouraged me to try different things and welcomed me into fascinating new worlds.
If you’re wondering how on earth to find some decent blogs to add to read to your reading collection, then step this way.
Here’s how to find the blogs that will capture your heart and how to know when you’ve found ‘the one’.
1. Think about what appeals to you
What are you looking for? What interests you?
Is is stunning photography or video? Beautiful writing or a glamorous life? Parenting topics or crafty DIYs?
Think about what floats your boat and then search accordingly.
2. Check out recommended blogs
Most bloggers read a lot of blogs. Quelle surprise. And most of us like to share our favourites with you! (It’s all part of the blogging love).
Here for instance, are some of my favourites, all of which are well worth a visit.
So do check out recommended blogs by bloggers, networks or forums and see which ones stand out from the crowd.
3. When you read a post, dig deeper then follow
We’ve all done it. Come across some post on social media, read it, loved it, perhaps even commented and moved on, only to soon forget about that brilliant blog we found! Argh!
There is nothing more frustrating, as a reader. And nothing more heart breaking for a blogger.
I’ve done this so many times, read something brilliant but then not had time to dig deeper into their blog and make sure I was following them.
So don’t make my mistake. If you read something that resonates with you, take a few minutes to check out the rest of the blog and follow! Chances are you won’t regret it.
4. Don’t just think the biggest blogs are the best
Yes many are, and for good reason, but smaller, newer blogs can also be brilliant! New blogs are launching every day, so keep your eyes peeled and stay curious.
Sometimes we are too often swayed by blog names that pop up a lot in the media or whom everyone shouts about, which is natural and absolutely fine, but don’t overlook the smaller ones too.
My blogging favourites are a mixture of ‘famous’ blogs and relatively unknown gems, and this is exactly the way I like it.
5. Listen to your heart
There’s a song in here somewhere, but in all seriousness, the difference between finding a blog you like and discovering one you love, is all to do with the ‘heart’.
When you come across a blog, think. How does it make you feel?
Nothing? Something? Everything?
All of my favourite blogs have one thing in common. They may be heavy on words or full of photographs. They may cover fashion, feminism or parenting. They may be written by a woman or a man. They may be hugely successful or a mere whisper in the blog world.
But they all – every single one – speak to my heart.
They brighten my day when I’m feeling rotten. They inspire me to be a better person. They make me roar with laughter or cry floods of tears.
They are real and honest and charming and wonderful, and my online world is a much happier place for having them in it.
When you find a blog you love, indeed, when you find your blog soul mate, like with all matters of the heart, you will just know.
You’ll feel light, happy and motivated or emotional, passionate and moved. You’ll hang on to every word or pour over every photo. And you’ll rarely miss a post.
Yes folks, finding your blog soul mate is a truly fabulous thing.
And do you want to know what’s even better? Unlike relationships, it’s perfectly more than ok to have more than just one.
Ok everyone, how did you come across your favourite blog/s? And what makes your favourite/s, exactly that? Be you a blogger or a non-blogger, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
YESTERDAY my Twitter feed went bonkers.
And all because the shortlist for the BiBs 2015 (The Brilliance in Blogging Awards) had come out.
And all because I’ve only gone and made the bloody shortlist!
And all because it’s for the writer category too!
Oh my giddy Aunt!
So thank you. THANK YOU! To anyone, indeed everyone, who nominated me or put me forward to be considered.
I’m absolutely gobsmacked but pleased as punch.
Being in this category is a dream come true, and I honestly didn’t expect it. It’s such a hotly contested category this one and I know at least a handful of super bloggers and writers who also deserve to be in here too.
Since being a little girl, all I’ve ever wanted to do, indeed all I’ve ever really been able to do (!), is read and write.
It makes me happy. It lights me up. And it keeps me out of mischief. (Most times)
Without my words, without my written word, I honestly don’t know what would become of me.
So thank you. It truly does mean ever so much.
To stand a chance of making the final five (which I would absolutely LOVE!) I now of course need your votes. I hate to do this – as do most bloggers I know! – but as it’s part and parcel of the blogging game…
Please vote for Pouting In Heels, if you so wish, under the WRITER CATEGORY.
If you feel I’ve earned it. If my words have ever touched your soul or made your corners of your mouth turn up into a smile.
Vote for me if you think I deserve it.
Please. That would be so lovely.
And also, while you’re at it, please take a look at all the other contenders in the categories, soak up their ‘brilliance’ and vote for them too.
The talent out there is astonishing. Just visit these blogs and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
As I’ve said, time and time again, NO blogger actually blogs because they want to win an award.
But there’s no doubt about it, to even know, that someone out there rather likes what you do, is pretty damn fabulous.
So if you can spare a few minutes and you think I’m worth it – please vote for me AND your other favourite bloggers.
Thank you folks. You’re a wonderful bunch.
(Oh and if you don’t mind, keep your fingers crossed for me too! I have a feeling I may need all the help I can get).
Good luck to everyone who has been shortlisted for a BiBs! x
Hello! I'm Kate - an award winning family & lifestyle blogger, freelance writer & mum.
1st book & 2nd baby both due in 2017. (Yep, I'm a little excited.)
Here I share my tales of how I try to strut my way - but often find myself hobbling (don't we all?!) - through life & parenting.
I do hope you'll enjoy what you read. Thanks so much for popping by. x