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 πŸ™‚

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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 thought it would be great to share what makes me happy with you guys. I have done a similar post before, here.

So what does make me happy?

  1. My Emmy.
  2. Bright colours and lots of pinks.
  3. Coffee (I literally just got some llama love vanilla). I live off coffee.
  4. Makeup. Even when staying in.
  5. Papercraft. Whatever I can get my hands on.
  6. Seeing my friends and family.
  7. Music.
  8. Camembert days. Yes, these are actually a thing with our friends!
  9. Happy planners. (Actually any planners!)
  10. Disney anything. Have I mentioned that I love Disney??? I really do love A bit of Disney
  11. Matching socks. Actually cute socks. I mean any socks.
  12. Glitter. A lot of glitter. And it has to be everywhere.
  13. Friends. The tv show. (I have quite a bit of friends merch now)
  14. Going to the zoo. Marwell, as well as around the country.
  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. These do not happen often enough.
  31. Summer and being in the sun.
  32. Adventures to new places. and planning the adventures to come.
  33. Overspending on stationary and notebooks.
  34. Blossom trees. Seriously they are beautiful!
  35. Making new friends. even when it’s scary!
happy

I’d love to know what makes you happy? it is important to have these things. So what makes you happy? Leave a comment below telling me.

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Mothers Day 2019: Perfect ideas for mums on a budget!

With only days to go till March 31st Mothers day is fast approaching! and if you haven’t been so organised and got your presents sorted for mum and maybe even nan yet! I thought I’d write a list of ideas of what you could do, without overspending!

Hand Made Card

You don’t even have to be on a tight budget to make a hand made mothers day card, I love receiving a hand made cards and I’m not yet a mum! (maybe one day though) My mum makes cards and always says I should be making my own! a lot more work goes into a handmade card, so there’s more to appreciate!

Flowers

What mum wouldn’t be chuffed as when you hand over a bunch of flowers and a card. Flowers are brilliant for putting a smile on their face.

Candles

I have a massive candle obsession, I love having a few tea lights lit in the evening. Perfect setting. Why not treat your mum to some candles that smell nice!

Chocolates

Who doesn’t like chocolates? I know my mum would always appreciate a box of Maltesers? (especially when the dog hasn’t got to them before her)

mothers day

Poundland’s Mothers Day collection is especially awesome this year! my particular favourite is the oversized ducks! they are so frigging cute! so had to buy us a pink duck as well as my mum one! (no particular reason other then it is an awesome huge rubber duck)

And it is not just Poundland! Home Bargains and B&M store also Have loads of cute little gifts for Mother’s Day.

But like I said before Mother’s Day isn’t about how much you spend. It’s about showing your mum and your nan and the line of the woman in your life some appreciation.

Please note: I have not been paid to promote any of these stores I am simply sharing my thoughts.

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The A to Z of me

I have been spending a lot of time recently networking with other bloggers and spending time to read there blogs, one I really love is Jemma’s DorkFace, I recently read her A to Z of me post, which inspired me straight away to write an A to Z of myself, so you can get to know me better.

I often find writing about myself a massive challenge so I have done my best here…

Hi. This is me!!

A if for ALEX
OK so the first bit is easy. Hi, I’m Alex, for short. Alexandra-Jade for long. BUT I hate being called my full name, because it feels like I am being told off. (I’m not saying I hate the name. I just hate feeling told off)

B is for BROTHER
I only have 1 sibling, and 1 is enough hey. My younger brother, Matthew. What can I say about him? well, As brothers go he is pretty awesome.

C is for CREATIVE and COFFEE
I couldn’t just pick one for C. In fact 2 words is just the shortlisted version because I can think of tons of words beginning with C that relate to me and I kept changing what I was going to write about so I’ve kept 2 that I think are most relevant.
Firstly I am a very creative person, I love crafts, photography, writing and drawing. Pretty much anything creative and full of colour gets my heart pumping.
Also! Coffee is a massive part of my life I can’t cope till I have had my cup of coffee in the morning. Doesn’t matter what kind of coffee I love exploring new choices and socialising with a brew!

D is for DISNEY
I absolutely love Disney! anyone who knows me will know that! I couldn’t even tell you my favourite character or film, because there’s just too many! I wouldn’t even know where to start! and that’s the truth! at the beginning of this year we took a trip to DisneyLand which was a dream come true, you can read about that here.

<3

E is for EMMA
Emma is my partner, she is my world, so she is definitely part of me. Next year were planning on getting married! and this year is a very busy year for us too! We can literally spend hours and days together and we don’t fight. I love the fact that I found love and a best-friend in her.

F is for FRIENDS
I am actually referring to the TV show. I literally can’t seem to get bored of watching Friends. I seem to somehow manage to watch this daily. I’ve probably watched the reruns 100 times per episode! and I am not ashamed to admit it. Oh and yes, I am one of those people who quotes Friends.

G is for GLITTER
Glitter is definitely a passion of mine. It does not matter whether it is glittery nails or a phone case, I love to have a bit of sparkle in my life.

H is for HEALTH
Health is a good word for me, my health sucks! Im constantly in hospital, I have LPHS, IBS, PCO and some. My health is something I’m always fighting and it gets me down a lot. But I keep going.

I is for INK
So far I have 4 small tattoos, but I definitely have the buzz for getting inked up! and I am planning to get some bigger ones in the future! Ironically I am shit scared of needles!

J is for JOURNALING
I am a deep thinker. In fact I over think, so journalling is a big part of me as well. I love to blog (obviously) and bullet journal and memory keep! which all link well together so I’m passionate about writing my thoughts.

K is for KNOWLEDGE
I am one of those annoying people who always wants to learn, in fact I love to learn new things. Trivia question quizzes are my favourite.

L is for LLAMAS
Ok so it is a toss between llamas and alpacas so I am cheating here slighting because I class them in the same category and I would love an alpaca.

M is for MUSICALS and I mean broadway baby! I love musical theatre and used to take part in a musical society peforming on stage. My favourite musical is RENT!

N is for NAILS
One of my biggest obsessions is my nails! I love my nails looking nice! I own my own gel lamp and I’m constantly ordering new colours on eBay. Hopefully one day I’ll do an official nail gelling course.

O is for Original
Original is something I see myself as, Im pretty certain you won’t meet another me. Well I bloody hope not.

P is for PINK
One of my favourite colours, of course, it had to be PINK!

Q is for QUIRKY ok I admit it. I couldn’t think of another word for Q. But quirky is a cool word. I wouldn’t say I’m normal. Or adverage. I’m just a bit quirky.

R is for READING
I love reading. I can literally have multiple books on the go at once! and thats not including the ones I have downloaded to my iPad!

S is for STATIONARY
If you have read any of my other blog posts you should know already I am a stationary hoarder and proud. I love my paper and pens with a passion.

T is for TESTS
When it comes to things that I hate Tests are at the top of my list. I have pretty much a phobia of tests which has always effected me through school and work! especially the kind of test where its pen and paper. I have total freak outs.

U is for UNICORNS
I have a special unicorn teddy named uni!

V is for VAMPIRES
From unicorns to vampires, That works right? well it does for me, I love Vampire films and stories!

W is for WAITING ROOMS
I feel like waiting rooms are a big part of my life! Im constantly at the doctors, hospital and other places that have waiting rooms. The bane of my life.

X is for ….
Ok so I have failed for the letter X. There really isn’t many words beginning with x now is there?

Y is for YANKEE
As a candle lover it is no suprise that I have a passion for Yankee

Z is for ZOO The zoo is one of my favourite places to go to especially as we have Marwell annual passes. Any excuse to go see Rica the sloth.

And there we go. The alphabet of AlexaJade.

If anyone else can think of a word that would relate to me I would love to hear what it is in the comments below.

Are we becoming too addicted to social media?

Hands up if you know yourself, that you are hooked to social media? Do you literally enjoy spending hours upon hours online, maybe your chatting to friends?
Maybe or you have put another picture up on your account and you are waiting to see how many likes that this one has reached, or maybe your one of the many people that brag about their social media following (innocently of course)!

It could even be that you’ve tuned in to your favourite youtube idol for their weekly Vlog. Is your hand up? Mine is, and I do fully admit that.
This month has been a bad health month for me, and I am currently on long term sick whilst the hospital is investigating what the heck is up and whilst I’m struggling to be off work, I have had a lot of time to myself. A lot of time scrolling on my phone, and the iPad… and then I’ll even turn the laptop on. That’s bad, isn’t it?
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest…. and the million others? Seriously, that takes up a lot of time to catch up on all the profiles we have! How many hours do you think the average person spends browsing a day?

Social media is just normality now?

The internet itself is now the most powerful way for anyone to become known! Talent ages are now taking to social sites such as Instagram and youtube to look for the next big thing! and we all know that if your online presence is big enough it could just be you! we are all aiming for the same goal really are we not? it is not just talent that is being headhunted through the interwebs but businesses and major companies are relying on us the media users to advertise for them! The opportunity is out there and many are getting paid to post online! it is crazy and wonderful! I mean the internet has developed in so many ways, but with every rainbow there’s rain! Social media and the high standards being wanted has a stressful and serious side that needs to be understood before getting involved in such things.

Are we addicted to being online?

So what does it actually mean? to be addicted to social media? I would say that because in 2019, the digital era is at its highest (and still growing) the addiction to social media acceptance is an unseen but overwhelming element of life!

Addiction is such a strong word, I didn’t really like it the first time I heard someone say ‘I’m literally addicted to’ such and such. but at the end of the day, there is such a strong connection between addiction and a continues need/want to do something. There are so many factors and we can all get so addicted to checking our profiles at times. Who wouldn’t want to have the coolest status, and the most Instagramable pictures to upload without even realising it had happened. How many times have you taken a photo! just to immediately say “this is so my next profile picture” Hmmm, That sounds like something I have said so many times!

Heres to deep thinking coming up…

Take a moment to think about this. How many followers do you have? 50? 100? 10000? it doesn’t matter how many! have you ever put something online that others have liked, shared, commented or reacted to in any way! and now another important question… do you know that person who interacted with you? it might sound silly, but could that person be idolising your profile as something they would like to be? have you ever thought about it like that, I hadn’t but I knew that I was watching other people and I knew that I was setting goals in ambition to be the success that they seem to have achieved. When you start to think about it the other way around, That is a bit scary right?

social media

Social Media Influencers

Social media influencers can be anyone. We all know that there are influencers who have a large network of followers.
This week I watched the BBC panorama documentary on the million-dollar selfie! It was so interesting to watch, as an inspiring blogger. I was able to take notes of where I could improve on getting my blogging journey getting myself out there and seen, as well as explanations on what social media influencers have done that have got themselves in major trouble.

So this it was not a program sugar coating the dream life, because no one really wakes up in the morning with a flawless airbrushed photo-ready look, do they? well, I defiantly do not! the program was based on highlighting the problems that social media influencers have begun to face. How seriously scary is it that even a child under 16 can be influenced and conned into products being sold online, as a result of a social influencer advising this. I think anyone with an online account needs to take a minute to think about what they are doing, because really we as humans, do not know the true influence we are having. if you do not know the serious impact we are having on the viewers hitting like.

So here are some things to consider…

  • Are you spending too much time online? if that’s a yes then please take a break! You don’t need to post your whole life online! and taking a break from your phone means you have more time to create memories and you can’t do that if you’re not living!
  • Think about removing any content that you have posted that could have a negative effect on someone else! only you will know if this is something that you need to do!
  • Spread positive vibes with others, you never know when they need to hear some happy words that day!
  • Stop trying to create a picture-perfect world! the world you have is already beautiful enough!

So what are your thoughts?

I would love to know your thoughts on social media. Do you believe that social media can be an addiction? or do you have an argument against this? Please leave a comment for me if you can.

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Embracing vegan food options as a dairy-free girl.

Now I wanna make this very clear! I am not a Vegan. Right now, I have no intentions to become Vegan either. I don’t think at this point, if I really thought for one minute I could live without meat, and especially eggs! I’d be kidding myself.
I swear that since I and Em started slimming world, we’ve been eating eggs pretty much every day!
I know, however, that a lot of people that wouldn’t consider a vegan option for 2 seconds. but if you are like me having to find alternatives on the menu all the time, that the vegan option is a pretty safe bet. Vegan-friendly isn’t just for the eco-warriors out there.

If this post doesn’t really interest you, how about reading some Monday motivation strategies here.

In 2011 I got ill… and I mean really poorly, went on for months. After months of stomach-clenching pain, I had to cut out most types of food that I really loved the most. Diary. That’s right, Cheese, milk, yoghurt… They were all making me worse.
I had developed Lacto intolerance. It always makes me laugh when people say ‘oh I couldn’t do that I love my cheese too much’. Well me too, I’ve had a naughty pizza now and then and really regretted it afterwards. However, when I had to cut out all things dairy, the free-from section was not what it is now! It was rubbish, A few cartons of dairy-free milk and some rubber tasting Dairy-free cheese!

vegan
vegan pudding at my favourite restaurant!

The vegan craze has really opened dairy-free options for me!

Since Veganism has become so fashionable (and I’m sorry to use the word fashionable but it really does seem to be the IN thing!) The menu and food availability for non-dairy products has greatly improved!
A few weeks ago we went to TGI Fridays! they had Vegan brownie with orange sorbet on the menu! I was like in my element! … but then we went to Franky and bennies recently and O…M….G vegan Ice-cream and Vegan whipped cream! I had my first Ice cream Sunday in 6 years! So yeah to the average pudding lover, an ice cream sundae from the desserts menu isn’t a big deal, but to go out for a special night out and not feel limited in what you can eat because there is plenty of dairy-free items! crap that’s more than a novelty, that’s a miracle.

Now whenever I go to a restaurant, or I’m shopping I check because if its marked Vegan, its safe for me to eat! (and 9 times out of tending a healthier option) so to anyone else struggling with Dairy-free options! check out the Vegan safe options! it is my favourite lesson learnt.

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Disneyland Paris. Our amazing trip.

In my last post here, you probably noticed I was already pretty excited and I have not been let down. To start our 2019 with a bang, and to celebrate Em’s 40th Birthday we took a 2-night stay at the Santa Fe Hotel and spent 3 magical days visiting Disneyland Paris, and it was as true as magical as I could have ever wished for!

I don’t know a single friend of mine, who does not love all things, Disney! and I am probably one of the most Disney obsessed people I know! anyone thinking to themselves, oooooh I wanna take a trip to Disney! DO IT! save up and do it! because Disney is not just for kids! For weeks before our trip (considering we only had a 6-week wait from Em’s birthday) it was the hottest topic and all we could talk about.

After a long hectic travel, and a really early wake-up, the magic begun for us with an afternoon straight off the train. We checked into the hotel and left our bags in the luggage and we were straight back onto the shuttle and into the Disney Parks!, for the first day we went straight to the Disney Studios, and as we walked through the excitement hit us. we were finally at Disney after weeks of waiting! and it was more then we could imagine. Within a few hours of arriving I was straight on the rocking roller coaster, and the Terror Hotel, Ohhhh I loved the adrenaline rides whilst we were there. We ran into our first character as well. Mickey!

Disneyland

Something really big happened!

Our trip was made even more special, I said yes to my beautiful girlfriend proposing to me at Disneyland! (SHE NAILED THE DREAM PROPOSAL)
She pretended to want to take a selfie, to send to one of our friends! and within seconds pulled out the ring.
I won’t lie I cried a lot, and there was a lot of hugging and it was just perfect, So yes, I can officially say that I went to Disney with my girlfriend and came back with my Fiancee (Eeeee. We’re getting married)

So needless to say! that was the most magical moment of our trip for me!

There is so much I can talk about from our trip. That it is not possible to cover it all (keeping some memories to ourselves of-course).

The parades were so good! whilst we were there Disney was celebrating the Princess and Pirate Festival, so there were 2 parades to watch, the main one being once a day which we loved the most.
The main parade was so fun to watch, there was so much to look at the floats were huge, and so amazing!
But the Princess and Pirate song are so catchy! I’m definitely the princess, Em says she’s a pirate! and we still have the song stuck in our heads!

Disneyland
I could have stayed with stitch all day!

Stitch was both Mine and Em’s favourite character we met!, He was so naughty, he tried to get in my backpack as we walked away, and was really really well played! Em has come home with a Stitch teddy and has definitely been bumped up on her favourite character list to the top since our trip!

Disneyland Paris in January…

Being at Disneyland Paris in January turned out to be the best! the parks were busy, but I never needed to use my fast past once! The longest I cued was 20 minutes, and that wasn’t even for one of the bigger rides, it was not bad for queuing at all, I could imagine how busy they would be in the summer.

Before we left we were originally a bit daunted by the fact it had been snowing and would be snowing whilst we were away, but honestly It was so amazing. Disney staff cleared the snow from the paths to keep the area safe so quickly and you could see they were working non-stop on clearing the white stuff.

The fireworks…

Another amazing part of visiting Disneyland was the fireworks. Oh my GOSH. Disney illuminations were literally spectacular, and so much of a bigger firework display then what I was expecting! the Castle lights up animated with characters from different Disney films, whilst water shot out and fireworks fly in the background, It was amazing, and so fun.

The money…

I’m not gonna lie! Disney is probably the most expensive place I have ever been too! so we spent so much money whilst we were there. We really did treat ourselves to souvenirs, and things to bring home! but we did find that it was easy to go through money very quickly!

We had our breakfast and dinners included in our meal plan, and only brought snacks during the day, which were costly! and we also drank a lot of hot chocolate to keep warm!
My favourite treat snack at the park though was the Disney princess macaroon that I found at one of the smaller stands! I was very chuffed to have a pink raspberry princess!

Is it bad that I was super excited to be in a Disney Starbucks?

I am pretty certain I am not surprising anyone here when I say! YES, we found the Disney Village Starbucks, More than once. It actually it wasn’t hard to find the Starbucks at Disney because there was also one in our hotel! Perfect for any coffee lover hey?
But yay! I achieved one of my Disneyland trip goals right here! by having a Starbucks at Disneyland Paris!

I’m so glad I did my research before we left! we did so much walking so I am glad I had taken my comfiest shoes! on our full day in the park, we hit over 23,000 steps, and it didn’t matter how tired we were cause we just wanted to get as much as we could in within the few days! honestly, I would suggest comfy shoes that you could hike into anyone going!

Disneyland

Disneyland is overall AMAZING!

Ok, So the travel was the only bit of our trip that I hated. That’s ok since it wasn’t part of our actual time at Disney! it didn’t let it down too much.

On the way to Disney, we had to change trains at the last minute, due to the snow in France. So we headed on a train to Paris, and then took the very confusing french underground to Disney! The snow in France was immense, as soon as we got out of the tunnel, we were going through miles and miles of countryside, covered in the white stuff, it was really pretty. The Way back as-well, the train was delayed and the train station in Lille Europe was hectic as! we were so lucky we didn’t miss the train back. But the travel bit to any holiday is always going to be the stressful bit, Right? (maybe we will fly next time).

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