Monday, April 10, 2017

My Blogging Hiatus!

Hello lovely beings of the internet I hope you are all doing well on this fabulous Monday morning! As you all probably already know I am actually a final year student in university and as you can probably appreciate as "finals season" is upon us I am rather stressed and up to my eyeballs in coursework.

I therefore had to make a decision whether to carry on doing everything but potentially risking quality or to prioritise. If you hadn't already got it from the title I went for option B. I think especially in final year of uni it is so important to pour everything you've got into it after all yo only get one stab at it. Whilst I do love blogging and don't get me wrong normal procedure will resume as soon as that god damn dissertation is handed in, it naturally has to take a backseat as firstly it isn't worth £27,000 and at the end of the day is a hobby not an academic career.

Therefore I will be taking a hiatus if you will, a mini break from blogging until my end of year assessments are complete. I promise this is not the end but more a "we were on a break" friends moment.

I hope you understand and I look forward to rejoining you all once the stress of final year is over and when I can finally call myself an actual graduate *squeels*.


Until then..

Meg Xx

Sunday, April 09, 2017

My Favourite Keto Recipes

For those of you that don't already know myself and my housemate have recently been experimenting with a Keto diet. In simple terms a Ketogenic or Keto Diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Whilst this is good I just want to point out that it does work  and I'm sure my housemate won't mind me saying that she has seen real results however as I am naturally slightly smaller I personally haven't seen as much of a difference but then I haven't been as strict with the diet. I recommend it as it forces you to put a lot more fruit and veg into your diet but I would take it with a pinch of salt. I know some people who do it really strictly and measure out portions which if that's something you want to do go ahead but in my case its more cutting out main carbs like pasta and bread and replacing those with veg. I still have granola for breakfast but aim to cut carbs out of the rest of my day. In doing so me and my housemate have had to be a lot more creative with our cooking so today I thought I'd share with you a couple of our new favourite Keto recipes! 

Recipe 1: Carbless-Fajitas (For One)
This recipe is so delicious and makes the most juicy flavoursome chicken I have ever tried. I love it and its so easy and very minimal washing up because it's all baked in one dish. 

Ingredients: 
1 Chicken Breast
Fajita Seasoning (I use the Old El Paso Fajita Sachets)
1 Pepper 
1 Small Onion
1 Avocado
Sour Cream
Grated Cheddar Cheese or Mozzerella Cheese

Method:
1. Place the chicken breast in a heat proof dish (I use a mini lasagne dish)
2. Sprinkle fajita seasoning over the chicken breast to taste 
3. Lay your sliced pepper, onion and avocado over the top of the chicken breast making sure it is pread out evenly
4. Spread some sour cream over the top to taste and then sprinkle cheese on top
5. Bake at about 180 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked

Recipe 2: Broccoli & Veg Carbless Quiche
This one is a take on a recipe I found online and makes a sort of cheesey veg quiche. It's nice and light and works great with a side salad. 

This recipe works in cups measurements however it doesn't have to be exact for example we used some broccoli and mixed veg in ours to mix it up a bit. You can also remove the ham if you want this to be vegetarian. 

Ingredients:
4-6 cups broccoli 
1-2 cups diced ham
1 cup grated cheese
8-10 eggs, well beaten (This depends on how big your dish is, we only used 6 eggs and that was plenty for 4 portions)

Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 190C. 
2. Boil and cook the broccoli then let it drain, Dice the ham while the broccoli drains.
3. Layer broccoli, ham, and Mozzarella in casserole dish. 
4. Season with fresh-ground black pepper and pour beaten egg over. 
5. Bake 35-45 minutes, or until all the mixture is set 

Recipe 3: A take on Courgetti Carbonara 
Ingredients:
Courgetti (1 Courgette's worth)
Mushrooms
Onion
Spinach
Cream Cheese (We use cream cheese with garlic which is delicious)
A splash of milk
Cheese on top

Method:
1. Fry the mushrooms, onion, spinach and courgetti in a frying pan
2. In a seperate pan heat the cream cheese and milk then combine the 2 pans
3. Sprinkle the additional cheese on top

*BONUS NON KETO RECIPE*

Recipe 4: Oaty Bake 

This one isn't actually a Keto recipe but it is still very healthy if your looking for a dessert replacement. 

Ingredients:
80g Porridge Oats 
2 tbsp Sweetner
2 Small Eggs
180g of Natural Yoghurt
A handful of raspberries 

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
2. Mix the porridge, sweetner, egg, yoghurt and raspberries in a bowl
3. Transfer the mixture ti a small over proof dish and bake for 35 minutes 
4. Serve with natural yogurt and fruit

So that's just a couple of keto recipes you can try out, Most of these recipes have been found on pinterest so if you want to follow my keto recipe board the link is here


Until next time ...

Meg x

Sunday, April 02, 2017

March Favourites

It's day 2 of April and let's just first chat about how god damn fast this year is going. How is it already April?! Anyway as always I have compiled a list of all the things I have been loving over the past month. This month I thought I'd bring back the categories that I used to use and see how it goes just because I think sometimes a little structure is in oder so here it goes.
Let's start with the makeup because lets be honest that's usually the most interesting category and this month I have gone back to basics. I have been sifting through my collection and seeing what I have and remembered about my MUA Undress Me Too Palette. This palette costs a mere £4 to buy so is extremely inexpensive but the colour palette is great if you are looking for neutrals. But what surprises me most about this palette is the pigmentation. For a £4 palette the formula is pretty creamy, well pigmented and lasts all day. Definitely worth getting.

Earlier in February myself and some of my blogger friends attended a Blogger event at The Body Shop where we tried out a bunch of New Products and were given some to try. I have done a vlog of the day which you can find here but 2 stand out products for me were the liquid face peels and the camomile cleansing balm. The liquid peel is one of the weirdest yet oddly satisfying products I have ever tried. It has a gel like formula and as soon as you rub it into the face it reacts and you can physically see the dead skin coming off your face. It's kind of gross but your face feels ridiculously clean afterwards! As for the camomile cleansing balm I am a massive fan of cleansing balms anyway so when I got to try this one I was quite excited. I love the scent of this as it's quite neutral but still smells clean. It does a really good job at getting your makeup off and as its from the body shop it is packed with good ingredients. 
When I haven't been wearing gym gear (sometimes I'm not even going to the gym the leggings are just so comfy) I have been loving the new frills trend thats all over the highstreet at the minute. I have a couple of frill pieces but have just been loving the style of them and its such an easy trend to wear.

Accessories wise I had to mention my latest heels acquisition. These babies are what I am calling my fake Valentinos because they were a measly £14 from good old primarni but nobody can deny they are definitely inspired by the classic rock studs. I have worn them a couple of times now and actually find them relatively comfortable for a heeled shoe plus I love the style of them because I think they can be dressed up or down. I have worn them with jeans and dresses and they are now a staple part of my heel collection.

Since the start of my more healthy diet I have been experiementing with a couple new recipes which are coming up in a blog post soon. One of my absolute favourites has got to be Carbless Fajitas! I know you'll be thinking how on earth does one produce a carbless fajita but it's so delicious and so easy to do that even I (one of the worst chefs in the world, I once burnt an omelette if thats anything to go by) can make it. Along with this I have been trying to snack a lot better. I have always been a snacker so switching them out for something much healthier was top of my list. These Paleo bars from The foodie market are my absolute new favourite. They are so tasty and moreish but literally only contains: dates, cashew nuts, coconut, macadamia nuts and almond oil. SO no more guilty snacking.

During the month of March I came down with a case of what I thought was Tonsillitis but was later informed by my medic student friend that it was a throat virus (I mean how was I meant to know that) but anyway he said to me that the only way to get better was to rest (absolute worst case scenario for someone like me who likes to be busy) he also suggested drinking honey and lemon and I did as he said thinking it was going to taste similar to those god awful lemsip sachets you get. But alas I was wrong it was actually delicious so much so that I am still drinking it even though I am no longer ill. 

During the start of march I was quite ill with a really bad case of the flu so I managed to fit in a lot of TV time what with being too ill to make it to uni on some days. First up is Moana which if you love Disney films then you will automatically love this. The songs are great the story is great and for once there's a Disney story where the princess doesn't marry the hero (finally) but it's a very nice and easy watch for those days where you don't want anything too intense.  On the flip side of this is my 2 netflix series picks which are definitely not for the faint hearted. If your into murder programmes, thrillers or programmes where you're just like What the f**k? then you definitely need to check these out. First up is how to get away with Murder which is set in a university and follows a bunch of law students journeys as they learn "how to get away with murder". The second pick is a lot darker and messed up than the previous but if you like a thriller is definitely worth a watch. Bates Motel is a series following a kid called Norman Bates (basically this series is the prequel to the film Psycho) and he is a bit of a weird kid. I'm not going to say much more because I don't want to ruin it for anyone but if you like drama this is the one for you.

What can I say about music in march other than there have been some really amazing releases and therefore this category is packed with favourites this month. Firstly how could I not mention the amazing new album from Ed Sheeran Divide. I am obsessed with all the songs on this album but particularly Galway Girl, Eraser, Barcelona and Nancy Mulligan. The Album is on spotify and Itunes so go give it a listen, I promise it wont be a waste of your time. Another favourite album comes from the recent Moana Film from Disney because how could I not have a more light hearted music favourite, From this album I love where you are, How far I'll go, you're welcome and shiny. As for other songs I have been loving quite a few including: Stormzy: Big for your boots, Are you Sure?: Kriss Kross Amsterdam, Connor Maynard & Ty Dolla $ign, Shape Of You Major Lazer Remix and Something Just Like this: Coldplay & The Chainsmokers. But if you want to check out all the songs I'm loving ever you can follow me on Spotify here

Another favourite I have loved is a mash up done by Connor Maynard and The Vamps which you can watch/listen here basically its them siginging other tracks over the original shape of you track and I just love how well their voices work together so definitely check that out too.

And that is everything I have been loving over the past month. 
If you like favourites or have some products you think I should try out please leave them in the comments below and make sure you keep your eyes peeled for another new blog post next week!
Until next time...

Meg X

Sunday, March 26, 2017

A Note To My Younger Self

What would you say if you could give a message to your younger self? After having spent a whole 20 years on this earth, I know I'd share a few pearls of wisdom so here goes.

Born on the 14th August 1996 just a small baby you'd have no idea what rollercoasters were going to happen in your life. Here's a few tips and pointers that I think you'll find useful. 
Straight off the bat, make the most of these 2 and a half years before your little brother comes along. He's lovely and a pretty sound really but when he comes along that's half the attention and half everything else so make the most of it. And just remember even though sometimes he is quite irritating (understatement if ever I saw one) he is still your brother and turns out to be quite a good laugh.  

Onto your hobbies. You might not know it now but that first ballet lesson you take when you are just 4 or 5 years old will lead on to some of the most amazing experiences ever. 
That adorable little kid in her pink tutu and bunches actually gets to perform on the west end not once but twice (3 times if you count the number of dances). Even 20 year old meg is quite impressed by that, and it will prove a very useful talking point in the future. 
Pink will be forever be your favourite colour but I urge you not to wear it in this quantity ever again. In time you'll realise black, white and grey make a very solid wardrobe but in your defence this was for a pink party so it is just about acceptable but never again please! 
Another thing you really need to stop wearing is that god damn helly hansen coat. In hindsight I do regret letting you buy it so just do yourself a favour and throw it away.
Try hard in textiles (not that you don't) but just do it and even though all your friends will laugh at your textiles photo shoots just ignore them because in the end you'll end up pursuing a career in fashion and textiles and loving everything about the industry. Also you'll get better at posing just trust me on this one!
 
You will always be entrepreneurial and I think you get it from your dad but even those little coffee stands you hold at football will stand you in good stead for the future. It may seem cold and pointless and that your only real customer is your mum and her mates but it is the start of a money making mind set and will set you up for bigger and better entrepreneurial opportunities. 
Ahh the braces. It wont be the best moment in your life I'll grant you that but just stick with it. All the screaming and crying will be worth it one day. Prom, Ball, and the selfies (not a 'thing' yet but you'll be very much on the hype), you'll be thankful of it then when you have a lovely set of pearly whites to show for it. 
Don't forget your roots. Your life gets so exciting its sometimes easy to get swept up in it and forget about your home life but I really urge you not to. The countryside is what will keep you grounded and generally what will keep you a nicer person. Just drop in or touch base every now and again! Especially when you leave for uni you'll realise just how much you actually like the countryside! 
You'll forever be a princess! Even since day 1 you have been a princess and to this day 20 year old meg still occasionally likes to pretend she is a real life disney princess. Don't let anyone tell you you aren't worthy of the title because you are and keep that little head of yours up (don't want that crown to fall do we). 
Your parents will forever try to embarrass you and for your sake its probably easier to just go along with it. It doesn't stop, that's their job (and it still happens age 20) but one day you'll know how to give it back which is much more fun!
While school is important and a little pre thanks for trying so hard (older meg is very grateful because guess what we got into Manchester *high fives*), but don't get so hung up on school, Yes you got a D in that physics test but in the grand scheme of things it never really matters because A) and you don't even do physics and B) you actually get an A* in the real thing so just chill. Also sports, history, geography, RE, Drama, anything like that will never be your forte so don't get too hung up on those either! Stick to what you know and live a little. 
While school was great and you made a small group of friends that you will be friends with for years to come, like before school isn't the be all and end all so let me reiterate just don't get so hung up on school. When you leave you'll realise you don't miss it as much as you thought so don't cry so much on the last day (especially not the year 11 leavers because you come back for sixth form so that really is stupid), don't cry because it's over smile because it happened then move on. 
Go and get your eyes tested sooner! I'm pretty sure I ended up spending a good few years squinting at the whiteboard in class so just go get your eyes tested. While yes you probably don't want to because of your irrational fear of anything clinical but it probably will save you a lot of embarrassment when you can actually see the words on the screen and the awkward moment when you went to your driving lesson and couldn't see any of the number plates. 
Christmas is your time to SHINE! When you finally understand the concept of Christmas you will be hooked! And even as a 20 year old the magic will still get you. My message to you is to spread this magic where ever you go. You will encounter those who don't share this passion for Christmas but don't let them dull your sparkle rather let that motivate you to radiate it from you even more. 
While makeup will be one of your passions, you really don't need so much makeup (particularly the eyeliner). Hold your head high because you don't need to wear a mask of makeup all the time and honestly it'll save you so much time in the morning leaving longer to sleep. 
When you're older please try and pay more attention to your limits. You're only small and while you probably think it takes you a lot to get drunk it really doesn't. You'll be a massive light weight forever but on the plus side you'll save a great deal of money because of this so there is a silver lining. 
Be proud of your achievements. Whether it be small, or big celebrate them! You'll be much more happy because of it and thats what achievements are for. 
Let's talk about Uni. Uni will simultaneously be one of the best and hardest things you will ever do but I promise it'll be worth it.  Thanks for choosing Manchester because it really is an amazing city and I have met some of the most amazing people here. Try hard in uni because you deserve to do well but first year don't stress too much about that coursework! First year doesn't count anyway so while it is great that you get a first in first year, you can spend that time elsewhere before the real work starts in year 2 and 3. 
Another thing to mention. Stop being so picky with your food. Honestly just give them a chance because you actually do like them. Mince, Peperoni, Soup you name it you actually end up liking it so just eat it!

You will be lanky forever too! This will make you very clumsy and anything at tripping height you will trip over, it is inevitable, and don't get me started on the jeans hunt... BUT this lankiness is a blessing in disguise because it means you have really long legs (trust me thats a good thing). 

And finally thank you for this blog that you will set up in 2013, because you will never know just how much joy it will bring you and for that I am eternally grateful.
And that is everything I have to say. Just remember to be yourself and live life to the fullest and you can't really go too far wrong.

Good luck & best wishes...

Future Meg 

xxxx 

Sunday, March 19, 2017

What I Eat in A Day

So as some of you may already know, since January I have been attempting a Jan Detox and so have binned the chocolate, sugar and general bad stuff from all of my kitchen cupboards (after I'd finished the remnants left from Christmas of course). So you may all be thinking well what on earth do you eat if you chuck all this away, so today I here to tell you exactly that and share with you what I eat in a day. 

Now lets get a few things straight before we jump on in. 1) This is not a crazy crash diet and by that I mean I'm not necessarily following any rules like the 5-2 diet or whatever but this is more a lifestyle change to a healthier and hopefully happier version of myself 2) I'm not proclaiming I'm a chef or nutritionalist but as a real human being who has made this change in my life I can honestly saw I've seen a difference in myself both physically and mentally and finally 3) Obviously if you don't like these meals you don't have to have them but it is more a source of inspiration of some of the meals you can put together wen you're trying to be healthier. 

Anyway now that's all done let's get on with the food (let's be honest it is the real reason everyones here isn't it).
Breakfast
Breakfast is very simple but really sets you up for the day and I have really noticed that if I forget to have breakfast I do feel a lot less energetic and much more lethargic. Most days I opt for a fruit granola, in this case strawberry granola with a scattering of a fruit of choice and some natural yoghurt. On other days if I feel like a lighter breakfast I have a smoothie made of frozen fruit, natural yoghurt and almond milk but recently I have been loving the granola because it really fills you up therefore reducing the need to snack (aka the arch nemesis of getting fit). 

Cuppa Time

At around 10am and 3pm I like to have a cuppa to break up my day however another area of the detox I wanted to cut out was milk (making the logistics of a regular cuppa somewhat difficult). Now I know a lot of you might be thinking that theres nothing wrong with milk in which you would be right however the quantity I used to drink was definitely anything but healthy. Because of this I decided to no longer buy dairy milk and switch to almond milk or soya milk as I would be much less likely to drink it by the glass. Because of this I have been really loving milk-less teas such as green tea or camomile tea as you can see above. 


Lunch
Lunch for me is usually around 12/1pm and the meal above is my absolute go to lunch at the moment. While it looks complicated it really is so simple (even an idiot like me can make it) and let's not forget just how instagram worthy it is too. The avocado egg is so simple, all you do is take a regular avocado, slice it in half, level off the base so it lies flat, remove the stone, scoop out a whole to crack your eggs into and then bang it in the oven until the egg is cooked. I told you easy peasy. Then while the eggs cooking you just toast a slice of bread and put the avocado you scooped out earlier (waste not want not eh) onto the toast for a lovely side dish to your avocado eggs. Then season to taste and eat!

Tea 
Tea/Dinner (depending on whether your a northerner like myself or not) is then usually at around 6pm and again this has recently been a go to for me. It is a recipe adapted from the lean in 15 recipes so you know it's got to be good but surprise surprise this is again really really easy to do. 
The first task is to cut up all the veg you want on your dish so I usually opt for peppers, mushrooms and onions. Then fry all these in coconut oil before adding a knob of butter or lo fat spread type thing and also add some garlic taste (that's the magic ingredient that makes this dish so god damn delicious). While all the veg is frying place your sweet potato in the microwave to cook and then combine the potato and the veg together. To finish sprinkle some mozerella or feta on top and let it melt a little. Et voila a deliciously simple meal fit for a queen. 

And that is everything I eat in a day! If you like this type of more lifestyle/health oriented post please let me know in the comments below and I can make sure I do more of them for you! 

Until next time ...

Meg x

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Body Shop Blogger Event (Almond Milk & Honey Range)


For any of you who read my blog back in December this year you'll know that I went to a body shop blogger event at the Trafford Centre and last month I was invited back along with 2 Blogger friends to take a look at their new Almond Milk & Honey Range. 

The new range is made with organic almond milk, no colourants, mineral oils, or petrolatum and  is dermatologically tested for sensitve skin perfect if you're looking for a product that is a little less harsh but still works a treat! 

The range consists of 10 products all with the amazing almond milk and honey scent which is delicious but by no means overwhelming.

While at the event I got to try out a couple of the products in the form of a lovely hand massage which was so relaxing I could of fallen asleep there and then! 

The products in the range are: 
Shower Cream (£2 for 60ml, £5 for 250ml), Gentle Exfoliating Scrub (£15 for 250ml), Body Butter (£6 for 50ml, £15 for 200ml), Body Lotion (£8.50 for 200ml), Hand Cream (£4 for 30ml), Cleansing Soap Bar (£4 for 100g), Bath Milk (£12 for 400ml), and then 3 gift sets.

Treats Set £6 and includes (£2 saving on if products bought separately plus free bath lily):

  • Almond Milk & Honey Shower Cream 60ml
  • Almond Milk & Honey Body Butter 50ml
  • Mini Cream Bath Lily

Essential Collection £18 and includes (£1 saving on if products bought separately):

  • Almond Milk & Honey Shower Cream 250ml 
  • Almond Milk & Honey Body Butter 50ml
  • Almond Milk & Honey Soap 100g
  • Almond Milk & Honey Hand Cream 30ml

Premium Collection £28 and includes (£8 saving on if products bought separately):

  • Almond Milk & Honey Shower Cream 250ml
  • Almond Milk & Honey Body Butter 200ml
  • Almond Milk & Honey Bath Milk 400ml
  • Almond Milk & Honey Hand Cream 30ml

It's fair to say there is a good range of products to choose from so I'd definitely recommend checking the range out. I particularly loved the scrub because it was so gentle but I really felt the benefit of it afterwards and also the hand cream because who doesn't love a hand cream!


We were also introduced to a few other products including the Camomile range which we were lucky enough to be gifted to try out. 

In our goody bags we received a range of the camomile products including Cleansing Oil (£12 for 200ml), Cleansing Butter (£10 for 90ml), and then 2 Drops of light brightening serum testers and 2 Drops of light Brightening day cream samples. It was so lovely to be gifted these items and am so excited to get my cleansing game back on track with the help of these new products. 

Then onto the products I picked up just because! I needed to buy my trusty honey bronze bronzing powder anyway (£14 for 11g shade 03) so I picked that up and also picked up the new Honey & Almond Milk Hand Cream mentioned above. The final product I actually purchased was the Vitamin C Glow Revealing Liquid Peel (£18 for 145ml). This liquid peel is definitely a new favourite and while it is quite weird it is so satisfying I had to pick it up. Using gel to peel technology it peels of dead skin and you can physically see it coming off your face which is so amazing to know a product is instantly working! At the till I was informed of a promotion where if you spent £25 or more you also received a free gift which consisted of another Cleansing Oil, Another Cleansing Butter and a muslin cloth to go with it. It's fair to say I wont be needing any cleanser for a while! 

I just wanted to say a massive thank you to all of the team at the Body Shop Trafford centre who were all so welcoming and really knowledgable about the products they were telling us about. 

If you want to purchase any products from the new range click here!
And also if you want to see my Vlog from the day head over to my youtube which you can find here!  

Until Next Time

Meg x 

Styled Social Media Blogger Bootcamp Review


For all that didn't know for the past few weeks I have been enrolled on the Styled Social Media Blogger Bootcamp, which is a 4 week course that teaches you everything you need to know from digital marketing to your own blogger brand. The 4 week course is split into 4 sessions each 2 1/2 hours in length focussing on one of the 4 following areas: Branding, Content Creation, Digital Marketing and Making Money from your Passion. Before I go into the actual sessions in detail I wanted to talk about the amazing team that hosted the event. Claire, Alice, Stevie, Toni and the special guests each week were all so friendly and approachable that in the end it just felt so chilled, just like it was a group of friends chatting about the blogging world which I loved. The venue (Revolution Oxford Road Manchester) was a great space for it and the food and drinks we recieved whilst there were delicious (and made some excellent instagram shots if I do say so myself). 

Now onto the sessions themselves the first session was branding and another thing to not about the blogger bootcamp is just how many resources you get introduced to that I had no idea even existed. In this session we were asked to think about our specific audience which sounds self explanatory when writing a blog but its amazing that it was genuinely nothing I'd considered before and always just wrote what I wanted to. We were also introduced to the concept of keeping a consistent style across channels which is something I am in the process of doing and hopefully you will all enjoy the new changes around here soon. We had a presentation from Naomi Jackson who if you haven't checked out her websites you really must because her design skills are so good. She spoken to us about the importance of branding and making sure your blog branding reflected the content you were actually sharing which once again is an area I definitely am going to work on. Not only did I leave feeling as though I'd actually learnt something but it also ignited almost a fire in me to get really back into my blog, revamp it all and make it what I really want it to be. 

Second session we returned to Revs but this time to learn all about content creation. As someone that operates across a lot of social media channels this was a week I was particularly interested in as I have technically been creating content since I was in secondary school. In this session we spoke about repurposing content, such an easy and effective thing to do to make the most of content you have produced for example turning a vlog into a blog post or a top 10 blog post into a podcast etc. We also spoke about simple things such as testing content and actually looking to see if that type of content is popular and checking content (both things I am a nightmare for). But really it does make sense. Why change something if it works? Then we spoke about things you could use to generate more interest in blog posts such as key words, skill sharing, collaborations, images etc. The best thing about the bootcamp is that it is in effect a room filled entirely of like minded people making things such as collaboration so much easier through already having met them. The group at the blogger bootcamp are all amazing and so inspirational to me that it really has been very motivating even talking to them. It's also amazing what you can gain from hearing another persons perspective on a topic you may be struggling with as they often have a very simple answer for you that you may not of heard of before. 

For our third session we were joined by another guest speaker who spoke all about different social media sites such as twitter, instagram, facebook, youtube and highlighted the importance of influencers to brands over adverts. I mean I wouldn't call myself an influencer just yet but maybe one day I will be able to call myself an influencer. He told us that social is also all about engagement and creating impressions which is something I think a lot of people forget. I think it's very easy to get caught up in follower numbers but followers don't really mean anything unless their really engaged with your content. We also talked about planning content uploads. I am quite good with planning my blog and youtube posts to go up together at the same time but the rest of my channels are quite sporadic so that is something I am 100% going to be working on in the near future. The final thing we learnt about was setting realistic goals for ourselves. As Claire explained in the session it's all very well and good for your goal to be "to have an amazing blog" but unless you actually can break down the steps of how you can achieve this it's quite unrealistic. By using SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time bound) and the GROW frameworks (goals, reality, options, way forward), goals are much more achievable and therefore more likely to be achieved, and I mean I'm pretty sure that's what everyone really wants. 

For our fourth and final session we focussed on making money from your blog. Basically all the neat little tips and tricks bloggers can use to turn their passion into something they can sustain and maybe one day do for a living which would be so amazing but we definitely aren't there yet. We first of all looked at our goals from the previous week to see if we'd achieved them/made a start on them and then congratulated each other on twitter on our successes which was so lovely. It meant a lot having almost a physical piece of evidence from someone else acknowledging your achievements and just put into perspective how everyone should do that much more. We then had a talk from Dom who is an absolute whiz at affiliate marketing (which in non blogger terms is the way all your massive bloggers get so much money and stuff sent to them). We learnt about so many tools which to be honest I probably need to take a bit of time to sit down and learn how to do but still very useful tools which I'll be adopting once I have got to grips with them. As usual we had a nice food break before hearing a little bit from Ben on how to optimise following for example Instagram as he has over 30k followers which is amazing. Our final activity was to set some goals for 6 weeks time which is when we will be coming back together for a Blogger Bootcamp Celebration which I thought was such a cool and amazing idea. We also paired up in 'accountability partners' to remind each other to smash their goals for that week! 

It's fair to say I have learnt a hell of a lot from this course in the short space of 4 weeks but more importantly I hope you are just excited as I am for all the exciting new changes that I have made and more to come for Gracey Meg (more to come on that soon).

Until Next Time ...

Meg x

[Photo credits to Alice who you can find here
[To find out more about the Blogger Bootcamp click here