Why I blog?

I’ve seen lately a lot of bloggers talking about why they blog. I thought it would be a good opportunity for a post about what has inspired me. including why I’m part of the blogging community.

My first time writing a blog…

My passion for keeping a blog started back when I was in college and studying A level photography. During my studies, I came across a photographer/Blogger on the blogger website called Katie running the blog Color me Katie.

I’d been really inspired by Katie at the time and based some of my photography finals on inspiration from her work. within a few weeks, I began a blog for my photography studies and ran this as a hobby. I stopped that back ages ago.

the blogger recognition award

after a while, I remembered a few years ago how much I enjoyed the blogging side of photography. It got me researching other bloggers before I eventually took the leap and opened my AlexCsparkles blog. Which I later turned to AlexaJade domain. But we’re in the same place.
My first blog post is here.

One of the things that got me back into blogging is having the space to be creative. A space to share all my thoughts and leave my own footprint on the massive world of the web. Which I think I am achieving slowly, anyway

How I blog…

Although I had experimented with other blogging platforms in the past I had chosen WordPress for my blogging adventure. I knew straight away that I was gonna self-host, no question about it. The reason I prefer self-hosting my blog is I feel there is so much more freedom in the way I run and use my blog. It does mean I am paying for hosting, as well as my domain and varies securities and extras. But it has been worth every penny so far.

I wouldn’t be anywhere if it wasn’t for my MacBook and iPad. I’m constantly on them doing something towards the blog.

To keep a blog is a real hobby…

I think when you have a natural passion for something you automatically give your all to this without question. There is no postponement, no fear. Just leaps of faith all round. If your hobbies are painting then you would need to buy paints and art supplies. So what’s the difference when your hobby is blogging there is no difference. Minnie, I’m saying that and have a million other hobbies in the background as well, so a lot of my money goes on hobbies.

blog

The community is so amazing …

The blogging community is amazing, and I’ve never seen such a big community anywhere else. I have joined various Facebook groups that have provided support and chat for the past few months. However, when I think of blogging community I automatically go straight to twitter where I have made so many friends, been inspired by so many, and spend a lot of my time lately.

When I’m chatting to other people about blogging it’s really easy to build connections with them. The community is probably one of my favourite things because I have just learnt so much through other bloggers, it’s unreal.

With such a supportive and respectful community my confidence has grown so much.

Blogging has given me so many goals to reach…

A bit like when I was talking about blogging being a hobby. When you are doing something it kinda becomes human nature to improve on what you are doing. So I’m the same when it comes to my blog.

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Photograph ideas you need for your blog

So you have finally finished writing that amazing piece, you have spent hours on this, and its all ready to go. well, the words are ready, but what about the photos? What are you using to catch the attention of your readers? Remember as bloggers we are all still learning all the time.

Your media is as important as your words!

We all know that your writing content is the most important, however, As much as your writing is so important when it comes to posting your blog post, photographs are just as important. Especially images that are relevant to the subject you are talking about. I mean would you really have photos of food when your talking of fashion? or anything else that’s a complete opposite to what your writing about.

Planning is important

What should I be using to take my Photograph?

Firstly if you are under the impression that you need a fancy camera before you are able to take a decent photo, you are literally incredibly wrong. I mean in this day and age all you need is your phone or your tablet. Your smart device is the perfect tool you can use, to be able to take pictures on. Let us face it. who doesn’t have their phone pretty much 24 hours of the day?

Personally, I own both a DSLR and an iPhone, I am happy to admit that I use both.

If you are lucky enough to own a DSLR camera (because I know they can be really expensive to get your hands on). You may prefer the photograph this takes. One of the reasons I use both, however, is it is not always practical to carry a bulky camera 24/7. However, if I’m staging my own photographs at home. I’ll be on my Nikon.

photograph

So what can I use as a prop?

There are so many things that you can use as props, Below is a list of just some ideas:

Gift wrap
Wallpaper
Postcards
Confetti
Washi tape
Stationery
Mugs
Drinks
Sequins
Foam Shapes
Photos
Notebooks
Flowers
Fairy lights
Phone case
Candles
Books
Leaves
Coasters
Keyboard
Cards
Magazines
Plants

Did I mention there is a lot of things that you can use to set up photos for your blog? Hopefully, this list will be able to inspire you to think of more ideas!

There are always more ways to find the perfect Photograph:

Don’t forget not all blog media needs to be staged either. I’m a constant photo taker. I can’t help it. It’s like taking photos is just in my blood.

My favourite pots have pens on them.

I’ve started learning how to create my own blog images as much as I can. But don’t forget there are still so many amazing websites that you can find free stock photographs from, and you won’t have to worry about copyright issues with these.

All you need to do, a simple google search for free stock images and tons of useful sites come up. Plus if you are using canava, their image library is huge! a lot of phone editing apps will have the same things.

I would love to hear, what your photo process is, and how you set up your photos. If you found this post helpful check our 7 must-have apps for bloggers, here.

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Sunshine Blogger Award: and what a wonderful award it is

It’s Wednesday so firstly, Happy hump day everyone!. You are now halfway through the week at least!! I am so excited to have been nominated by such a supportive blogger, Latisha with her blog renewinspiration, for the Sunshine Blogger Award.

Rules for the Sunshine Blogger Award

• Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blogging site.
• List the Sunshine Blogger Award rules and display the logo on your site.
• Answer the Sunshine Blogger Award questions.
• Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
• Notify the nominees about their nominations by commenting on one of their blog posts.

sunshine blogger award

Questions asked by Latisha

What do you enjoy about writing and/or blogging?

There is so much that I actually enjoy about blogging. I really enjoy writing content that means things to me, especially when I feel like my creative voice is being heard. Another thing, the blogging community is such a supportive and amazing world, and its a community I am proud to be apart of.

Do you enjoy journaling in your spare time? Why or why not?

Yes! I am a big journal fan, I love keeping a Bujo when I can (Bullet Journal) and I keep a happy planner with My daily activities and memories.

What’s your favourite book you’ve ever read?

Oh, I love reading so much, how could I possibly answer this question… My most recent favourite has to be Lauren graham’s ‘In conclusion, Don’t worry about it’, Its a brilliant read.

What’s your favourite inspirational quote?

‘Never let the fear of striking out, keep you from playing the game’ this quote actually comes from the Cinderella story movie and has always spoken out to me. The words have always reminded me that no matter what I should not let fear win, or let confidence get in the way. Just a sweet reminder to keep fighting for what you are trying to achieve.

Cinderella story
What is your favourite social media platform?

It has to be twitter, for conversation and Instagram to get inspiration and keep up to date with photos, I do use Facebook but I am not a massive lover like I used to be.

Have you ever written a book? If so, what is the title of it?

No, I have never written a book, but at the moment, if I could, I would. I am pretty certain I could write a book on my past experiences, even I know that would be hilarious reading.

Do you visit your local zoo? If so, what is your favourite animal?

YES! I love Zoos, All of them! but of course, I have a Marwell Zoo (which is our local one) annual pass, and we go as much as humanly possible! My favourite animal has always been the flamingos, but really I love all animals.

Where would you like to travel if money was not an issue?

America! straight away, do not even need to think about that one! I would have to travel around all of the states though!

What’s your favourite sport to watch and/or play?

EEP, So to be honest. I am not the biggest sports lover or watcher. At a push, I like to watch the Gymnastics but I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch it.

Do you like to volunteer at your local soup kitchen or donate money to local charities?

I try to be charitable where ever I possibly can, A few years ago I abseiled down the Spinikar tower, in Portsmouth, to raise money for Autism Hampshire UK. I also visit local charity shops and donate to whatever I can when I can, but there is always more I could do, I admit that.

Who supports your writing and/or blogging efforts?

My social following is still growing but I would like to think all my friends and family but I would love to know who supports me in my writing and blogging efforts Just as I would support any of them.

I wrote a post here that tells you about my experiences and learning with blogging so far.

Questions for my Nominees

  • What made you start your blog and what do you enjoy most about blogging?
  • where is your workspace?
  • What’s your main goal to achieve in the next 5 years of your life?
  • What is your favourite place to visit?
  • If you could start a course in anything right now, what would it be?
  • What’s your favourite Disney character and why?
  • What’s your favourite social media platform?
  • when you were a child, What would your dream job be?
  • Who inspires you most in life?
  • If you won the lottery, what would be the first thing you do?
  • If you could give your life a musical title, what would you call your musical?

My Sunshine Blogger Award Nominees

So if you could please just take a moment to support these wonderful bloggers by visiting their websites and commenting on some of their blog posts that would be just fab! after all, we are all here to support each other!

Thank you again to Latisha for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award! it has definitely made my day today. Hopefully, my nominees can have a smile shared also!

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’90s girl: Thinking about the ’90s

I was born in 1992, therefore I am a 90s Child and the ’90s were the best, so when I found this on thesmurfygamersblog and literally within minutes I was reminiscing, I knew I needed to do a similar post, this tag is because I still love the ’90s now!

So here are the questions! and they are fab!

'90s
1. Favourite Disney Film?

Seriously? I’m not sure I can answer this question, Only because I love all Disney films and characters so it is impossible for me to pick!

2. Favourite Music Artist?

Ok, it has to be the spice girls! They were still at the top as I was growing up! and I loved all their songs! I even still own their video somewhere at the parent’s house.

3. Favourite Sweets?

My Favourite sweets were Rainbow Drops, those little colourful almost like rice crispy things.

4. Favourite Game? ( Boardgame/school game)

Buckaroooooooo!

5. Favourite McDonald’s ‘Happy Meal’ Toy?

The TY bears, all the different animals you could get, I had a mini lobster for ages in my school backpack!

6. Favourite Book?

This is a toss between the Tracy beaker series and The Princess Diaries books.

7. Favourite Clothing Store?

GAP

8. Favourite TV Show?

Sabrina The Teenage Witch!

9. What Show Would You Watch After School?

All of CBBC. Especially Goosebumps!

10. What Was Your Favorite 90s Game Show?

I actually don’t think I had one?

11. Did You Own A Virtual Pet?

Yes! of course, who didn’t have a Tamagotchi as a kid?

12. Favourite Video Game And System To Play On?

I didn’t really play many video games/systems! But I did have the Pokemon Pikachu edition of the Game Boy Colour!

13. Weirdest Fashion Trend? 

those colourful bands, that had a million silly meanings, that no one really cared about. They were just pretty, let’s face it.

14. Favourite Toy?

My Betty Spaghetti collection, and Polly Pockets!

15. Favourite Nickelodeon Show?

Rugrats!!… and it still is!

I could write so much more that I loved about the ’90s, Like Groovy Chick bedding, mood rings, and Kennan and Kel runs.

What do you guys remember about the ’90s? What were your favourite things?

Want to learn more about me? How about reading the A to Z of me post here.

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Sugar & Sloth – inside my package!

Does anyone else get super excited when your orders finally arrive? I am literally like a little kid that’s on a sugar rush when I know that the postie is bringing me something good. I had only been waiting a few days but I was super excited when my big box came, from Sugar & Sloth I ordered a mug, a Notebook and a Mystery box from Sugar & Sloth and I am so glad that I did…

So the best part of any parcel is the unwrapping! This box did not let me down and kept me excited as I opened to see the contents. I literally love the effort that seems to go into packing my order up from the seller, Anita Perry. I would definitely suggest following her on Instagram as well here.
The box was filled with confetti and included a sticker and a postcard with details of the store. Nice touch.

I love how each item has so much personality! and they definitely suit my personality! The store sells Bright, colourful, cute, and unique mugs, pins, jewellery and clothes, as well as other stuff. U

Inside the mystery box which you can buy for £12 online on her store, includes an enamel pin, and a mug which you can either choose the sweary or non-sweary kind (a pretty good idea that). I don’t have a cat, and this the mug was from the mystery box! so I probably would not have picked this one myself, BUT that being said I do wish that I had a fuckton of cats so it is still a suitable mug for me! Not to mention that it is super cute!

I literally love my order from Sugar & Sloth…

To which I literally couldn’t pick my favourite item from this order if I tried! I really love the enamel pin, and It will so be going on my notice board with my seemingly growing collection on pins that we have. Stationary and mugs all in one place though? Seriously very cool items.
I especially love the Anxiety mug and notebook. Really think I need a pet Gnarl whale in my life as it is.

It is exciting to think about what Sugar and Sloth bring out in the future! In the future, I will definitely be ordering again and soon.

Do you have a favourite shop that you love to order from? where would you suggest getting a mystery box from?

If you liked this post, check out my Anti favourites post here.

Blogging: What I’ve learnt about blogging… So FAR.

I remember, I first started creating blog content years ago, and it was kinda this thing that I would start, stop, start and stop, and really this never went anywhere. I then started looking at other blogs and then I got so inspired, that was it, I wanted to start my own fully functioning working blog and it would work! … that was the plan and I am still working on it to this day! When I started this blog, it was a step up from the times before, I don’t actually think I realized how big of a world I was really stepping foot into. (and no I do not mean that negatively!) The addiction to blogging, The social community of bloggers, the world I was entering into, and how amazing having a blog could be. How Having a blog, has changed me, because it has. Since I started blogging, I have come across new opportunities, met new people and really opened up a massive door to enjoying a new aspect of me.

Blogging is not easy, and its not an all bliss world. So I wanted to share with you guys how much I have learnt, and what so far!

The blogging community is massive

There are so many people out there in the world and so many others that you can meet and become friends with. Each friend I have made from blogging has been amazing and so supportive.

Blogging is hard work

Ok so if you are thinking about starting off a blog, please do not get under the impression that its gonna be a hit success on day 1, that doesn’t really happen. Your blog is only as successful as you make it, and to make your blog really work, you need to put as much time and effort into your work as possible! I wouldn’t give up on the down days though I’ve found that at times it’s so tempting to give up! but if you give up on your dreams, they don’t happen.

blogging

Planning is important

If you are like me keeping a blog plan is important. Planning means you are able to keep up to date, remember important dates and tasks. Planning is a great way of keeping your blog going. especially when it comes to sharing your blog and gaining engagement.

You can end up thinking about your blog 24/7

Literally, Once you start writing a blog you can end up thinking of your work constantly! It is like a full addiction, a massive passion and becomes a massive part of your life.
Now I am not just talking about the next time your gonna get to tap your fingers on the keyboard and make the next post for your readers, the more you get into your blog, the more you begin to put in, money, sweat, and tears. It is not just about the content at all, its the sharing and promoting, preparation and care.

Research is so important

I am a passionate learner! Literally. I love to learn new things, I love to be inspired by others, so that being said it probably goes in my favour when it comes to my blogging life. I’m constantly reading others blogs, pinteresting and reading about blogging, and learning off other bloggers. There is a serious legal side to some things, and I have read about how some have got themselves in trouble by doing certain things. By doing my research into what I am doing and taking interest in other bloggers around the world, I am teaching myself more and more every day.

Images are a pretty big deal

Although words are a massive part of blogging of course! Images are just important, and you wanna have decent images at that. There are hundreds of stock images sites, that allow you to use their images for free.
But taking your own images is fun, gives your blog a unique creative twist, and definitely gives it that personal touch of your personality.

Security and Backups

If you’ve read my previous posts, you may have been reading when I nearly lost my blog. Oh my GOD. My biggest blogging Fail (you can read that here) That day was awful. I had been having a downtime and not been checking my dashboard, my site had been attacked and taken over with a virus, I don’t know what it was but I never even knew a website could be attacked with such things till that day, and so straight away I learnt the importance of backing up your work! Every single month!

Scheduling posts is a blogging GOD

When I am feeling particularly creative and inspired one day I am able to write a couple of blog posts in a few hours and schedule them to come out online at different times. which is such a good thing as I can organize my blog better then I can organize myself sometimes?

It’s a competitive world

Have you ever heard the phrase its a dog eat dog world? hmm? I suppose a bloggers world is the same, in some ways! Each blogger has very similar goals to yours! you need to try and remember that! because you should never let a negative hit put you down on your own work!

Is there anything you have learnt since you started a blog? Like I mentioned earlier! I love to learn off others! so leave me a comment below with something you have learnt 🙂

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35 things that make me happy!

So the best thing about the blogging community has to be being inspired by other amazing bloggers. Like Mxrshmarshmellows blog. Who just created a very similar post. It really made me question what makes me happy and got me thinking.

So I though it would be great to share what makes me happy with you guys.

  1. My Emmy.
  2. Bright colours and lots of pink.
  3. Coffee (I literally just got some llama love vanilla)
  4. Make up. Even when staying in.
  5. Paper craft. Whatever I can get my hands on.
  6. Seeing my friends and family.
  7. Music.
  8. Camembert days.
  9. Happy planners.
  10. Disney anything. Have I mentioned that I love Disney???
  11. Matching socks. Actually cute socks. I mean any socks.
  12. Glitter. A lot of glitter.
  13. Friends. The tv show.
  14. Going to the zoo.
  15. Flowers around me.
  16. Taking lots of photos.
  17. Unicorns
  18. Primark hauls. Probably shopping in general.
  19. Watching musicals.
  20. Receiving happy mail.
  21. Spending days just watching films.
  22. Writing my blog.
  23. Reading books.
  24. My love for all animals.
  25. Pinterest.
  26. Wearing oversized hoodies.
  27. Adult colouring books.
  28. Giving gifts to my favourite people.
  29. Pretty mugs. I’m addicted to mugs.
  30. Daddy daughter days.
  31. Summer and being in the sun.
  32. Adventures to new places.
  33. Overspending on stationary and notebooks.
  34. Blossom trees.
  35. Making new friends.

I’d love to know what makes you happy? Leave a comment below telling me.