Compared to last month, my June Blogging Month has gone down a storm. I’ve stayed on top of blogging, as well as running a business, looking after a family and undergoing chemo.
I like to think that I’m Wonder Woman, but deep down I know I’m not. None of us are. We all face the same struggles day in, day out and feel the same pressure. Sometimes I have to take a step back on social media – just for a day or two – as it starts to engulf me.
I give myself a reality check and that seems to do the trick, then I’m ready to jump back on it again. But I see the same with friends on social media. Sometimes it feels like it can take over your life, so I’ve been consciously making sure that doesn’t happen.
Instead I’ve focused on getting 5 blog posts published this month! Yes, you read that correctly – FIVE. Actually, come to think of it, if you count this post too, it’s SIX – I think it’s a new record achievement! It hasn’t been easy, but I pulled it off. It’s probably because there hasn’t been any decent TV series that I could binge watch (until I discovered S3 of Designated Survivor on Netflix), so I’ve ended up on my MacBook most evenings!
So, here’s how my June blogging month panned out – warts and all!
June blog posts
First up, I wrote about my AMAZING trip on a ship that has been billed as ‘the most technologically advanced ship in the world’, Celebrity Cruises’ Edge. I took my business partner (before I started chemo) and we enjoyed a few days on board to experience the amazing ship – meeting celebs along the way (some more friendly than others!) – have a read!
I also had the opportunity to review the Vonhaus Cordless Hedge Trimmer – and boy, did we need it. Our old trimmer gave up the ghost last year and we were in desperate need of replacing it – I was really impressed with its extendable pole (I’m only 5’1”!) plus the battery length which meant we could do the garden in one hit.
Since I started chemo in June, it made sense to write about the experience. Of course, I get that everyone’s experience will be different – and even after three chemo sessions now under my belt, I’m experiencing different side effects – worse in fact. But everyone is different and I think the few learning lessons I’ve had are (1) take everything in its stride (2) Take regular rest – and don’t make plans in the few days after chemo if you can (3) Try to have a positive mindset most of the time. Yes, there are times you get down – completely natural – but feel them, then let them go and get ready to battle on.
Last week I spoke to my oncologist about going away on a break this summer. She agreed that it would be great for me emotionally to have a change of scenery – but in the UK to be near a hospital in case I pick up an infection. I’ve always loved the beach so we’ll be enjoying a staycation in Margate in July or August. As we’re not as flush as we used to be, I have a few thrifty tricks for getting away on a budget, so I wrote a post on 5 tricks to finding the cheapest accommodation for beach holidays.
And last but not least, I wrapped up this month by writing about my June Favourites and Things I’ve Tried – everything from a cheap cinema hack to enjoy these summer holidays, to new products I’ve discovered.
It’s been a busy month to say the least, with a few gifts and collabs under my belt which has been great.
Apart from the ones mentioned above, I received some new Cadbury Coated OREO biscuits to try (yes, I’ll be sharing with the kids as they LOVE them!), plus the lovely Karen from Tippett PR sent me some Ultrasun products for my sensitive skin to try – I’m totally hooked!
I also teamed up with Domu Brands to run a giveaway for these gorgeous grey and rose gold packing cubes from Beautify that I wrote about in my June Favourites – they’re brilliant for keeping cases super organised when you’re packing to go away. If you fancy entering the competition – head here!
I was also lucky enough to team up with Rex London to showcase their summer sale. I got some absolute bargains – have a read of the post here and let me know your favourite items!
Something that I haven’t mentioned in a while is that I’m continuing to contribute monthly posts to the BritMums website. As the company’s round-up editor for shopping, I get to write about all things shopping – from other people’s hauls to how the High Street has changed in recent years.
I did think that since my diagnosis I might be biting off more than I could chew with keeping up the guest posting, but so far I’ve managed to do it and not missed a month – I think that comes from my experience at working on a weekly magazine, with the pressure on every week. A month seems like a lifetime – even though it still goes really quickly!
I’ve definitely performed better much than last month in terms of how many blog posts I published (and how many videos I made – even though it was just the one!), so I can’t be too hard on myself for the epic fails here. So I’m saying no epic fails to report! Whooohooo.
Who I met
I managed to get together with my bbf (best blogger friend) Kerry this month. We haven’t seen each other since my diagnosis, so it was lovely to hook up with her again, enjoy a nice lunch and talk holidays!
She also brought me some great products to try, so I’ll be commenting on these in my July Favourites – including an Eco Laundry Egg and a magic mitt for washing – thanks Kerry!
My vlogging channel
Finally! I managed to upload a new video this month! Yes, I realise it’s just one video, but trust me – I made it, I edited it, I came up with the graphics, wrote the YouTube description, added tags and then promoted it. It sounds easy and straightforward enough, but these things take time – and it’s time that I’m lacking!
Anyway, the video is of me announcing I have breast cancer and what this has meant to my family. I made it a couple of months ago (when I had long hair) and have since taken videos of me with short hair and then me now – with a shaved head, which I’m hoping to edit and upload soon.
If you fancy a watch – it's right here.
Something that had been frustrating me for a while was the fact that I could only upload 4 Instagram stories at a time. So one early morning (at 2am to be precise when the steroids decided to keep me awake), I decided to deal with it – and I came across the solution.
- Download an app called CutStory.
- Create your video via your camera (not in the IG app!)
- Select the video by clicking on camera roll inside the app
- Tap on save and the app will start processing the video
- Once done, the video segments are stored in photos, neatly broken down into 15-seconds long parts.
- All you have to do is review the videos and upload the Instagram stories one by one.
So I tried this – and it worked!
Out and about
Having visited Exclusively Homewares every year, I had to keep up the tradition and get myself back there this year.
The great thing about the show is that you find out what new interior trends are coming up for the following year – it’s always a bit of an eye-opener. So my next blog post will focus on the new interior trends for 2020 – I can’t wait to share it!
I had some great news in the HIBS 100 chart – I had been sitting at number 30 for ages and then one day – out of the blue – it jumped to number 18.
Of course I took a screen grab as I couldn’t believe it – I know it’s not going to last, so I thought it best get the evidence to prove it! Funny though, since jumping up, I’ve definitely seen a huge leap in companies approach me to work with me – sadly most just want free links from blog posts I’ve written – I wish they’d read my ‘About’ page to discover how I work with individuals and brands first before contacting me.
My goal this year is to get from a DA of 39 to 40. I think it’s a big leap, but I’m keeping the faith that it will happen!
My monthly community magazine brought in just under £2K this month, so that’s just under £1,000 for both myself and my business partner. However, we’ve been cautious in withdrawing the full amount due to additional expenses including a rise in printing costs plus spending money on a gazebo that I found in the Robert Dyas sale – it will come in use for when we attend community events and festivals!
Other income streams in October:
– JustPark £77.33 (I rent my driveway for parking and also use JustPark for when I’m visiting hospitals, town centres, stadiums, airports etc) here’s £5 to get you started!
– Top Cashback: I earned £4 this month from shopping online and using Top Cashback – this is how I earn FREE cash for shopping online! Check it out for yourself.
Blog collaborations: £250
Total June income: £1,331.33
June Blogging Month At A Glance
What was great? Uploading a video and managing to cram in five/six blog posts. I’m still not sure how I managed that one.
What wasn’t? Turning down lots of blogging assignments. I wish I was Wonder Woman, but sadly I’m not.
Goals for July: Enjoy my birthday (naturally!) and upload at least one video (keep your fingers crossed for me!)
A Pin For Your Blogging Board