So, we arrive at the end of the year – and the end of a decade. And I'm wrapping up this year with my December blogging month and much learned in the last 12 months.
At the end of 2018, I was raring to give blogging a go full time. That didn’t quite transpire because fate had other ideas for me; I was to launch my own community magazine with a friend and it would take up all of my time. And it did – and it still does.
But I’m really proud of myself for continuing to blog. And I do so for the same reason I started to blog four years ago – because I really enjoy it. It gives my creativity the chance to be unleashed. I can rant and rave, I can speak my mind and I can just say it how it is; it’s like my therapy.
And who would have guessed that at the beginning of the year I would discover that I have breast cancer? Certainly not me. But I’ve tried my utmost to find that silver lining – and that came in the form of helping others by talking about my treatment and describing what I’m going through; it’s my therapy.
So where I am now? Well, from a health perspective my daily radiotherapy started this month – a month of treatment every day, except for a few weekends – and it will all be over on 31st December! Which means that I get to raise a glass to the New Year knowing that I don’t have any more treatment. Well, apart from the daily tablets – but you know what I mean.
And in terms of the blog, although it’s by no means something that brings in a viable income I will still carry on blogging as I genuinely love doing it, plus I’ve worked really hard to build it up to what it is today.
I’ve had to turn down lots of money making opportunities to put all my energy into the magazine, but every now and then I’ll get the opportunity to try something new or test out a new product that catches my eye – and that’s something I like to think as the perk of my side hustle.
So, let’s have a look at my December blogging month and how it faired…
Guest Posts & opportunities
I haven’t committed to any collaborations this month except putting together a blog post on my experience of eho chef. If you haven’t heard of the concept, you should check it out as it’s pretty amazing!
You get the pleasure of private dining from the comfort of your home. When it’s cold and dark outside and you don’t feel like venturing out, it’s ideal!
Have a read of the blog post and let me know what you think? Would I do it again? Abso-bloody-lutely. It’s got my seal of approval.
This month I’ve also enjoyed a couple of visits to London in collaboration with a couple of companies, but the blog posts will be published in 2020, so watch this space!
The goal I set myself this month was to get all the Christmas shopping done a week before Christmas – and I failed miserably.
In the scheme of things, given work, the blog, family life and my daily radiotherapy treatments, I did well to get it all done at all. You see, in our household I buy all the presents (except my own – although I have been known to buy them) and I also do most of the wrapping.
VIP chips in to help me when I need it, but then he tends to moan about how many pressies there are and that everyone should agree to not buying any gifts (bah humbug!), so I find it more enjoyable doing it on my own.
I actually started the shopping spree on Black Friday, but then the present buying slowed right down and I was rushing around two days before Crimbo trying to a couple of gifts and Christmas tags – never again she says! I’m making a promise to myself that 2020 will be 100 times better.
Who I met
Woooohoooooo! I managed to meet up with two lovely ladies this month – Kerry and Alex. We were originally going to hook up in London, but decided on Bluewater Shopping Centre in the end as we could all drive there. Props to Alex from coming the furthest and making a fab effort in getting there.
We enjoyed a mooch around the centre and all had a good old chin wag over lunch. I could happily do this once a month with the girls – they’re great fun to be with.
I’m hoping that Cecelia (tamtam1936 on Instagram) will join us the next time as she couldn’t make it having gone to Paris for a quick break.
Given it’s the busiest time of the year it didn’t come as a big surprise that the income generated this month slowed down a little.
In terms of the community magazine, we covered our printing costs and managed to withdraw £500 each which definitely helped with Christmas. Then it was left to my side hustles to make me some money.
On eBay I sold a Belstaff bag for £199, having paid £80 for it, making me a tidy profit of just over £100.
My Just Park income totalled £99.52 – this is where I rent my driveway for parking and also use JustPark for when I’m visiting hospitals, town centres, stadiums, airports etc) here’s £10 to get you started – use it for a weekend shopping spree!
I also use cash back sites when shopping online. For Top Cashback I earned £82.63 this month. It’s REALLY easy to use – you just sign-up for a for free account, search or browse for a brand you like, click through to their site and shop as normal. Everything else (the tracking etc) is done for you. Check it out for yourself.
I’ve also started using Quidco cashback site – and the total for November and December was £24.19.
December total: £825.34
Out and about
This month I had the wonderful opportunity to go to Germany. It was part of a school trip that was offered to VIP and we were allowed to go with him (blog post coming soon!). We enjoyed things like the festive Christmas markets and a trip to Phantasialand – magical!
Aside from that, I also managed to find time to help with bag packing for a local breast cancer charity – a charity that has really helped me since my own diagnosis, so it was lovely to be able to give something back.
Moving into 2020, I’ve decided to knock the ‘Favourite Finds’ and monthly blogging months on the head and instead pen a round-up post that merges everything together. That way, there’s less pressure on myself and I can write about blog collaborations along with what I’ve been up to in general that month.
Given that I’m planning on 2020 being my best year yet – I think a bit of self-care is the best place to start.
Happy New Year to you all – and here’s to health, happiness and success in 2020!