I can’t believe how fast the year has gone already. It seems like just a few weeks ago when we were ringing in the New Year.
I might have mentioned it before, but I started out the year with great intentions. All was going well until February when things started slipping.
And the more I fell behind with the tasks I wanted to do, the more I stopped trying. Not that different to my yo-yo dieting I guess!
But onwards and upwards as they say; this month has been a bit busier than the last in more ways than one. In the last week alone it has been crazy at work and I haven’t had time to keep on top of anything.
And this is what my ‘epic fail’ has been this month. Being overwhelmed doesn’t happen to me that often, but when it does I start to get anxious.
Fortunately, the feeling doesn’t last long, but I’m coming to an age now when I’m think that I’m too old to put up with crap and I’ve got to start letting the small things go.
In the very last week of April I was absolutely inundated at work. I had to wrap up a magazine on my own – including writing the whole thing and then subbing and proofing it, then I spent the whole weekend editing a video for work which I had to then submit online as part of a social media challenge.
By the time I had finished with those, I was eager for things to get back to normal. And then I was given the news that I had just one-and-a-half days to sub, edit and upload a 22-page magazine. And get this, I had to do it all alone.
Now I like being kept busy, but there’s busy and there’s drowning in my workload. The next day I worked from 5.30am through to 1.40am the next morning – yeah, crazy right!
By the time I had finished I was losing the will to live. I was snappy at the kids and felt incredibly guilty. And then it occurred to me that no-one should have that sort of pressure on them. And even though I got the job done – it took everything out of me.
So my epic fail I suppose was not saying ‘get me help, I can’t cope,’ but I took it on the chin and as a result I’m feeling resentful. So to me it was an epic fail.
However, I’ve got to change the negative into a positive, so there’s a learning lesson to it all; I’ve made up my mind what I’m going to do next time it happens again. But for now, I’m putting it all behind me.
Moving on to more positive news. I received an email asking me if I’d like to become an official Harris Brushes Blogger Ambassador, to which I accepted of course as I’m already a fan!
Where possible, I always try to use Harris brushes as there’s minimum bristle loss and the quality of the brushes means that I get consistent paint coverage.
I’ve got a few upcycling projects lined up for the summer (if the sun comes out), so I’m looking forward to trying out their range.
And my lovely friend Su from Ethan and Evelyn invited me to join her admin team of #ExplorerKids on Facebook. It’s all about families with kids who like to travel and explore. Being a massive travel fan – and with adrenaline junkie kids – I couldn’t refuse really.
I’m excited about what prospects it might bring; one of the ideas is to club together with like-minded bloggers to pitch to companies.
Who I met
I got chatting to the lovely Ana De Jesus from Faded Spring a few months ago. If you haven’t heard of Ana, where have you been hiding? She’s big on the blogger circuit and has a fab personality to match.
I know Ana has recently launched blogging events in London and we got chatting about the prospect of me being one of the event speakers.
We got on like a house on fire on the phone and didn’t stop chatting, so I knew I had to hook up with her in person; she seemed like a great girl and on the same wavelength.
So earlier this month we met at some lovely French restaurant that Ana was reviewing and I kid not, from the moment we got in there at 7pm until the time we left after 11pm (after realising we were the last people in there), we didn’t stop talking. In fact, we could have carried on until the wee hours of the morning I think.
We shared stories – some personal, some from our blogging experiences – and it felt great to meet a genuinely lovely person who, like me, wears her heart on her sleeve.
Despite our age gap, there wasn’t anything that I didn’t feel I could share with Ana – she’s one of those people who has been through things in her life that most of us can’t even imagine, and yet she bounces back against all odds and that’s only to be admired. So watch her space! I have a feeling Ana has much, much more to give.
In the charts (HIBS)
Can you believe, after months of my HIBS badge not showing properly on my site and a few emails exchanged with the peeps behind the badge, it’s eventually working again!
And would you believe, all it took was for me to delete it and reinstall it. So the good news is that it’s back and I’m back in the charts, but the bad news is that I’ve got pushed down to 133rd place – boooooo! Ah well, things can only get better can’t they?
Guest Posts & Opportunities
I contributed to a few round-up posts this month. The first was Deb from My Boys Club who wrote a post ‘Over 20 easy family-friendly ways to cut down on foodwaste’ – read what I (and others) had to say.
Next, Smart Style Bathrooms got in touch to ask what my top tips are for maximizing space in a small bathroom – read the article here – along with a few more other fab tips.
I also managed to contribute some tips for Novus Homes, who were putting together a feature on Things To Consider When Designing A New Kitchen.
Meanwhile, my regular stint at Mano Mano saw me produce another DIY project with the help of VIP and Girlwrighter. As someone with a bit of a birdhouse obsession, we ended up making an Owl birdbox. And here’s the finished product! You can read how I made it here.
And finally, I offered my thoughts on using interiors to create mindfulness at home, which I thought was a great topic. Have a read of some of the interesting thoughts (including mine J) by a range of interior bloggers and experts.
Out and about
I was invited by Visit Black Forest to the Underground Cookery School in Hoxton. The idea was to get a group of bloggers together for a #BakeOff competition while learning more about the region.
We were going to turn our hand to making the famous Black Forest Gateau. Well, they had me at the word ‘gateau’ if I’m honest.
I was paired with John from Dad Blog UK, who’s actually a very funny guy and we had a good old laugh – mainly about how crap we were about making the cake. Yes, a little cheating went on and although we didn’t win the Bake Off, I was pretty impressed with our cake at the end of the night.
Oh, and if you're keen on visiting The Black Forest (I will be this summer!), you should check out the newly launched Visit Black Forest Facebook Hub which offers a go-to resource for anyone looking to travel to the region.
Blogging Month: April At A Glance
What was great? The Bake Off!
What wasn’t? Getting bogged down by work.
Goals for May: Make more vlogs.
Linking up with…