Have you ever had something happen to you, but you can’t figure out why it happened? What on earth am I talking about? Well, towards the end of last month I posted a tweet about some little ceramic pots that I came across in Dunelm.
All very normal – and I do regularly tweet about little finds in the High Street shops and supermarkets that I visit. But this particular tweet got retweeted 273 times – and I have no idea how – or why.
You could put it down to a retweet from Dunelm, but I checked – and they hadn’t. Oh well, it might just have to remain a mystery for now…
At the end of last month I visited Germany to take part in a blogging project called #ComeToHamburg. I have to say, it was an amazing experience for all of us (I took the Wright clan with me).
I wrote about our short break here and it was a real eye-opener as we also stayed in serviced apartments for the first time. It’s not something I would have considered before, but now I know what they offer, I’d definitely stay in some again. And, as you can see by the picture, we received a really warm welcome from Appartello Hamburg.
The #ComeToHamburg project also featured the post on their website which was great for driving even more traffic.
Following the post I published, I received a really nice message from the appartello on Facebook, which made my day. It's always nice when brands take the time to tell you they enjoyed your posts.
Meanwhile, Sports Direct challenged me to do some Christmas shopping – and find pressies for less than a fiver. I was quite surprised at what I managed to buy for just a few pounds – and guess what? None of it had to do with sports!
Another collaboration I took part in was writing about visiting Canada. As much as I love writing about destinations that I’ve visited, I also enjoy writing about destinations I’d love to go to – and Canada is one such place. VIP also has Canada on his bucket list – double the reason to visit!
Finally, I enjoyed an Afternoon Tea Cruise down the Thames with my lovely friend Aurora, with the help of City Cruises. I had no idea you could eat cake and take in the city sights at the same time. Now this was my sort of lazy Sunday.
There hasn't been many other bits and pieces this month. Eating Italy Food Tours got in touch to ask for my opinion on my favourite thing to do in Florence – have a read.
And Typhoon kindly teamed up with me to offer this retro stacking storage tin in my November/December competition, which offers a nod towards the retro theme.
Bargain of the Month
I added this as a new sub-heading this month as I just have to write about Black Friday (and Cyber Monday)! I was biding my time waiting for some good blog deals to come along – and I’m sooooo glad I did.
First of all, I managed to bag Grum (for Instagram) for the total amount of £19.45 ($25) for lifetime access! So I’ve avoided the $9.99 monthly fee with one simple payment – plus it gives me lifetime access to TWO accounts. Even now I'm still gloating about this one as it has just saved me a whole heap of time.
I also purchased an amazing Black Friday deal called Invanto (small business platform of pre-integrated smart apps that lets you create, market, and launch products) for $49 (£38.03) – again for lifetime access, but this time I saved a whopping £3,564 worth of programmes (three in total – MemoryRack, CoachRack and RewardBurst).
If I’m honest, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing with them, but the reviews on the products were good enough to convince me to part with £38. And it’s nothing a few YouTube tutorials can’t fix.
Who I met
I visited World Travel Market at the start of the month and took part in their early morning speed networking session for bloggers. I met a few bloggers including Jessica Elliott from How Dare She, a travel photographer called Kim Leuenberger – and last but by no means least a lovely lady called Nikki from Yorkshire Wonders.
I also attended a YouTube Parent Vlogging Day, organsed through BritMums (blog post coming next so keep your eyes peeled) and I met the very lovely Penny Alexander from Parent Shaped– who I really admire.
You need to go check out her blog – and she’s just as lovely in real life as she is on camera. I love it when you meet other bloggers and have a picture in your mind of what they’re going to be like and then they exceed your expectations.
I also bumped into Elinor Hill from Beach Hut Cook, who I had a really good conversation with about YouTube tags. Elinor was also really lovely; in fact, pretty much everyone I met was genuinely nice.
Erin from Merin & Co was also there, babe in arms, which I really admire her for. She wasn’t letting a baby get in the way of her learning, which is so admirable.
And Laura Sidestreet from Side Street Style (who I’ve been wanting to meet for ages) was also there, but sadly we didn’t get to chat just because the day was so busy. Before I knew it, the day was over and I had to shoot off to relieve my mum of babysitting duties. We’re hoping to chat on the phone soon though.
I had to turn down some offers of work this month, simply because they didn’t fit in with the brand that I’m trying to build (a clear focus on affordable family travel and thrifty interiors).
It would have been easy money to make (and boy, do I need it right now), but I’m staying true to what I offer as integrity is very important. So, yes it’s not much of a failure, but I feel cheated out of being able to make some more money in the run up to Christmas when I’m pretty skint.
Plus the company that I moaned about last month, (without naming and shaming) have only JUST paid up. I thought I wasn’t going to see any payment at all, but better late than never I guess. Maybe they read my October Blogging Month and realised I was talking about them!
And finally, since earlier this year I’ve been in discussion with a well-known European theme park on the prospect of visiting with the family in summer. Our chats (and even a face to face meeting) were very promising earlier in the year and the kids and I spoke about how excited we were to be going.
Then, when it came to organising the details of the trip (4 months later), they told me that their policy had changed and that they wouldn’t be able to accommodate us. To say I felt really let down is an understatement.
And explaining to the kids that the trip was no longer on the cards was difficult. Yes, of course we could still go, but when you feel misled and unfairly treated by a company (who said there should be ‘no problem’ in arranging something), it doesn’t instil a desire to want to visit that place anymore, which is a shame – this is another learning lesson for me this month.
My vlogging channel
I’ve upped the ante a little in November when it comes to writing blog posts, so I haven’t put a lot of focus into my videos this month – I’m hoping that will change next month when I get a bit of downtime – fingers crossed.
November At A Glance
What was great? Hands down, Getting Grum for Instagram for £19.45 for lifetime access!
What wasn’t? Being let down by the theme park.
Goals for December: Make more YouTube videos!
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