The end of this month has been particularly busy for me blog-wise; with a few days off work I decided to get my head down and try to figure out some things.
I decided on a new theme (which I’m yet to install and transfer my current theme), but I’m looking forward to getting it up and running! Watch this space…
A Good Old Tidy Up
I also decided to tidy up my site, getting rid of a couple of sections that were stagnating. Realistically, I think I had bitten off more than I could chew with keeping them updated, especially when I work full time.
Paring down my site also forced me to take a long hard look at it and look at what I should focus on – travel, interiors and lifestyle.
However, I did add an extra section – blogging! I thought that as I spend so much time blogging (and vlogging) then I might as well write about my experiences and share my knowledge. Sharing is caring after all!
Christmas Blogger Gift Swap
I took part in a blogger gift swap this Christmas, which was really interesting. I’d definitely recommend taking part – it’s a bit of fun and it’s nice to e-meet other bloggers.
I like the idea of running my own Christmas blogging gift swap for next year, but I’m not sure if I’ll manage to get round to it.
The Press Trip Of A Lifetime
On 22nd December I received an email inviting me to my first overseas trip for Home and Horizon – to Japan! I nearly fell off my chair when I read the email. I’ve been away in the UK for my blog but never abroad – and JAPAN!
It’s funny because as part of my full time job it’s normal for me to be invited on at least a couple of press trips every week.
But to be invited for my personal blog means that my site is being recognised (and seen as worthy) of such a huge trip. I’m over the moon as you can imagine.
The last minute ‘Discover the Best of Japan’ trip leaves in mid-January for four days on a Kyushu Premium Tour.
Highlights include a visit to a Hirokyu arrowroot house, Kawatake plantation, pottery museum, sake brewery and more.
The trip also includes taking part in traditional Japanese activities, from a Kuroda armour dressing and glass working to hand dyeing and a green tea ceremony.
As much as it pains me to say it, I can’t go. I’m actually really gutted. But while I’m still in full time employment (and only getting 21 days holiday a year!) every day I take off is precious.
That specific week I’ve also got two family commitments – and one of them I just can’t cancel.
I’m hoping that there will be another opportunity like this in the future – and next time I’m determined that nothing will get in the way.
Just before Christmas I headed to Lakeside in Essex (retail park) to do a spot of last-minute shopping with a friend.
We thoroughly enjoyed the trip and managed to get to The Range, B&M Stores, Home Bargains and Dunelm-Mill. Watch the video here.
I’ve got a few ideas for other videos to make; namely testing out a couple of gadgets we got as Christmas presents.
I’m also planning on doing more pyjama vlogs with either of the kids (or both) as they really enjoy it.
It would be good to get them more involved in the actual vlogging rather than me talking and them just contributing every now and then – I’d like to turn the tables on that and get them doing the majority of the talking!
The Blogging Month At A Glance
What was great? Getting invite to Japan!!!!
What wasn’t? I expect too much of myself sometimes and let myself down. I need to be more realistic on what I can achieve in a set time frame.
Goals for January: Complete my first ebook for my newsletter subscribers and hopefully work out how to change my blog theme.