Tag Archives: lifestyle

Meet and greet with the Lifestyle Blogger tag

playdoThe lovely Aimee Phelan of Aimee Dot has created a Lifestyle Bloggers tag to try and get to know some of us bloggers a little better, and I was lucky enough to be among those she shared it with. I think it’s a great opportunity to share a bit more about ourselves and our blogs with each other and I hope you all enjoy. Grab a cocktail, pull up a chair – or a piece of playdough – and have a read.

1. When did you start blogging and what made you start?
I started blogging nine months ago after being invited to a Blogger’s Party through a friend. I had already set up a Tumblr account a few years earlier and liked it, although wasn’t very committed to it as there was less writing involved. Meeting incredible bloggers, some who blog full-time and make a living from it, I was so inspired I went straight home and set up Absolutely Lucy. I’m so glad I did because I have met some really fantastic people through blogging and it has opened up a whole new world for me.

2. How did you come up with your blog’s name?
It just kind of came to me in a flash. I wanted something short and snappy, had no nicknames or anything like that to use, so I chose this. It wasn’t until later that someone pointed out to me it is the same name as a series of books, which unfortunately seem to beat me on the Google rankings. But I wouldn’t change it, it has become an identity and I “absolutely” love it.

3. Who is your favourite lifestyle blogger?
Gosh I have so many. The blogger who first inspired me was Gemma Seager of Retro Chick, but I also love Hello Wonderful, AnyGirlFriday and Imogen Writes Wellbeing – these are just a tiny handful of my favourites. And my latest obsession is travel blogs.

4. Where do you get your inspiration for posts from?
Every aspect of my life. That’s why I love lifestyle blogging, because nothing is off topic and everything is worth writing. I find inspiration in things I read, things people – whether celebs/friends/family – say, behaviours I witness, things I experience, dreams and ambitions I have, food I eat, places I go and anything else that happens along the way. Like Aimee said in her own post, it is damn hard to turn off once you become a lifestyle blogger because you see the world in the form of your next post!

5. What was your first blog post about?
My first blog post was just a short introduction to me and what I planned to write about, I wanted to ease myself in and to say hello to anyone who might be reading.

6. What are your favourite things to write about?
I love to write on all topics, but I have to say my favourite posts are always travel-related, health and food-related, reviews of films/theatre/shows or extremely opinionated pieces, which always get a debate going.

7. What advice would you give to a lifestyle blogger who’s just starting out?
I was actually asked this on Twitter the other night and I said very simply: “don’t stop writing what you love, even if it doesn’t get the readers you want.” I still stand by this all these months later. Readers respond to you when you write and post what you love. They can see through fake posts or the ones that you are writing simply for followers. At the end of the day, you started this blog for you, keep it going that way or you will fall out of love with it.

8. Is there anything you wish you could change about your blog?
My main thing I would like to change is I would like to go self-hosted so that I have full control over the design and layouts. Hopefully this is something that will be sorted over the next few weeks!

9. Recommend 2 fellow lifestyle bloggers.
It has to be the ladies I mentioned in Question 3.

10. Who would you tag next?
Hello Wonderful/Any Girl Friday/Imogen Writes Wellbeing

Enjoy ladies!

 

Lots to look forward to this March

Swan Lake

Swan Lake

Any of my readers will know I had a pretty terrible start to the year and that all of this drama has carried on throughout the last few weeks – but thankfully I’m starting to reach the other side of things. You know how it is, when you are in a situation you often struggle to see beyond it and to put things in perspective until suddenly, one day, you start to realise that things will sort themselves out.

With everything going on, I haven’t really been in the mood to do the usual of going out for meals, to gigs and the like, so you may have noticed the lack of reviews over the past two months. I will soon be changing that, because I have suddenly realised quite how many things I have lined up for March – it’s going to be a busy month for shows, theatre and music, which will be great to really get back to normal. Here are some of the fantastic shows I have coming up:

Ella Eyre

Ella Eyre

I will be seeing the English Youth Ballet performing Swan Lake at Norwich Theatre Royal to start with –  this I am very excited about having not been to the ballet for several years. I absolutely adore the story of the white and black swan and am really looking forward to seeing a national touring company perform live on stage – especially since the tickets are official review ones thanks to a huge entertainments feature I wrote about the show.

Comedian Miles Jupp is also on the list for a night of hilarity at the Arts Centre in my home town – the tickets were a Christmas present and I am looking forward to seeing another comedian because it has been a while since the last one. I haven’t seen any of Jupp before now, so am intrigued to see what kind of set he will be doing. From the blurb on the website, it seems he discusses everything from fatherhood to other people’s pants!

Jim Cartwright’s Two will take me back to the gorgeous Westacre Theatre with my family for a night. All of the productions at this theatre are of fantastic quality and I always look forward to reviewing any of the shows because they are just so easy to write about! I’m looking forward to this one because it is so different to any I have seen before – mixing business and marriage with a lot of oddball characters.

Back to XOYO London for another amazing gig – Ella Eyre tickets were another Christmas present and I am so excited to see her perform live, especially after the BRITS! She has such an incredible voice and I loved seeing her perform with Rudimental but it will be totally different seeing her perform on her own. And do I even have to say, I have incredible hair envy of her locks.

Finally, my Christmas present to my Grandad was tickets for the whole family to go and see West End show, Dreamboats and Petticoats, on tour in my home town. He absolutely loves the music from the shows and we buy him a CD every Christmas, so when I heard the show was coming to us, I just had to get him tickets. Looking forward to a nice family evening out.

Dreamboats and Petticoats

Dreamboats and Petticoats

I will review all of these shows for you guys and I can’t wait to share these with you all. I’m also really excited to have so much lined up for next month – it will be nice to have some fun after a tough few months. After a few gorgeous sunny days, it seems like spring is well and truly on the way so I see it as a good time to put things in the past and move on to summer fun.

Have you seen any of these shows – what did you think? What else have you guys got planned for March?

My first attempt at making risotto

Tomorrow I am cooking dinner for the whole family, including my boyfriend, so the pressure is on and I will be trying my hand at a new dish. I am going to attempt to make my first risotto, after falling in love with the dish at a number of restaurants recently. So far I have tried butternut squash and Wensleydale risotto and a salmon and asparagus dish.

I am going to be making Creamy Gorgonzola and Portabello Mushroom Risotto – it sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! Fingers crossed it all goes well. Click here for the recipe I will be using. I’ll take photos and let you know how it goes!

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Workout: Stronger, harder, leaner

Just got home after another epic workout. Treating myself to new gym clothes has really been an amazing motivation and I am killing it again at the gym – I have totally revitalised my workout and am loving it again. My body feels amazing now that it is really being challenged again. I love how good a really powerful workout makes you feel. I’m totally hooked on endorphins and I’m not ashamed to say it – there’s nothing like the buzz you get post-workout.

None of my friends are gym bunnies like me and none of them really understand why I enjoy going to the gym so much (I don’t think three workouts a week is excessive!) because they have never given it a real shot, but if they prefer to feel tired rushing around at work and sad when their clothes don’t fit like they would like them then fair enough! Personally, I like my body to be soft and yet strong, I like being able to run and lift weights without a problem. I like that my clothes fit the way I like. And I LOVE that I can pretty much eat what I want because my metabolism is so high and I rarely put on weight now, even if the majority of the time I prefer to eat healthily.

 

Too many people think the key to losing weight or toning up is actually just eating less when in fact, I actually eat more now than ever and yet weigh less because I am eating less junk and because I am working out to burn it off. My body is lean and toned and yet I enjoyed a huge Italian feast of tagliatelle with a sauce made of double cream, brandy, prawns and vegetables with two different types of garlic bread, wine and cheesecake for afters last night. It’s all about moderation.

My current workout is cardio heavy with plenty of weights and a strong core section. I do either a 20 or 30 minute interval run (depending on how much time I have) and usually run for either three or four minutes followed by a minute of sprint walking. This interval running is great for boosting my cardiovascular fitness and building up stamina – plus its also the most effective for weight-loss. I then move on to 20 minutes of interval training on the cross trainer at a high resistance level before finishing with ten minutes of fast-paced cycling.

I then move on to weights working the inner and outer thighs to strengthen my muscles for running and to help stop my hips from clicking so much. Reps of 12 and I try to move up a weight every few weeks. This is followed by the leg press (which I can stack) and I do various exercises on there including one-legged, pyramids and general lifting to mix it up a little. Doing these weights have really helped strengthen my legs for running without building any excess muscle, my legs are slimmer than ever!

I then move on to arms and use all the weight machines working my biceps, triceps, shoulders and core as I try to build up my strength in my arms. I stick to lower weights because I tend to build muscle in my arms (especially biceps) quite easily and although I don’t mind this, it makes the sleeves of my cardigan a bit tight!

Finally, I finish with an intense ab workout. Starting on the ball, I will do 25 oblique crunches on each side followed by 20 long arm crunches with a 7kg weight, finishing with 40 Russian Twists with the same weight.

After these, I hit the floor where I start with another 20 long arm crunches with the weight, 20 basic crunches followed by 20 reaching to my knees and another 20 reaching through my legs. Then I do 40 oblique twists followed by 20 crunches where I fully extend my legs and arms. Finally I do 40 more Russian Twists on the floor and then sit on a weights bench to do 20 leg extension crunches.

After this I’m usually a jelly mess and have to head home for a snack, today’s was a bit of brown, seeded toast with peanut butter.

What’s your favourite workout? Any tips to further my workout?

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Communicating with the big, wide world

I’m thrilled to announce that within just a few weeks of blogging on WordPress, I already have 40 followers and have had countless visitors to my site and likes on my posts. It’s really encouraging to see that my writing and opinions are being heard and appreciated by so many people from all over the world. And I really love that WordPress offers the stats pages to show you exactly where your readers are accessing your blog from, I appear to have a lot of UK and US readers, but have even had some from Bangladesh checking out my pieces.

This morning I also reached my 5,000th Tweet which went out to nearly 400 followers on my Twitter account who are spread across the country and the globe. It is great to know my opinions and comments are going out to people in my industry and to friends at the same time, and that I can instantly share my work with the world.

On my original blog, which I now use more are a photo-diary and a log of my work at the paper, I am sharing my writing with around 300 followers on Tumblr. Although Tumblr is good for the immediate sharing of pictures and thoughts, I find that WordPress offers more of a considered approach to blogging when one puts rather more time and effort into constructing a post and decorating it for readers.

Adding my Instagram to the mix, I am sharing my regular uploads with nearly 160 followers, documenting my movements whether journalism, music or blogging-related. I also find Instagram a perfect way to edit my photos and share them on my blogs. Finally, on Facebook I have 941 friends who get all my updates relating to blogging, writing for the newspaper, editing for This Festival Feeling and living life. This is a fantastic amount of people that I am reaching on a daily basis and who are accessing my posts and work. I considered making a page for myself as a writer, but didn’t want to limit my posts to people who have liked my page because I know how easy it is to lose followers that way. Plus it makes it more personal to be a ‘friend’.

Overall, I am reaching more than 1,800 people daily through my blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts – when writing for The Lynn News and This Festival Feeling, and displaying on the websites, I am reaching thousands more.

This is an amazing feeling and it astonishes me to have collated these figures and get a real picture of how many people I am in touch with. You should try it, technology really has brought the world closer together! Click on the links to follow each of my accounts and get a slightly different picture from each!

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Class of 2010 – University of Hertfordshire – House of Boobs reunited

I am so excited. Today is the day. This afternoon, I am to be reunited with some of my best girlfriends – House of Boobs, as we were nicknamed at University of Hertfordshire – for drinks, dancing, an almighty catch-up and plenty of snuggles. We are all so close, but unfortunately being spread across Norfolk, Essex, London and Ipswich, it is not always practical to meet up as often as we would like, nor is it easy to find a time when everyone is free! I am so looking forward to hearing all about the girls’ summers, their promotions, new jobs, boyfriends, new homes, travel plans and the rest. It is also nice that because I have so much holiday left over I am taking today and Monday off work as a treat, with a spa day booked with mum for Monday. And I’m looking forward to wearing my fabulous new outfit – velvet crop top and tartan midi/pencil skirt when we go out tonight. Will post pictures and an update after the weekend.

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BBC journalist offered promotion for sex, dossier claims

BBC journalist offered promotion for sex, dossier claims

So much for women’s rights! What were women like Emmeline Pankhurst and Emily Davison fighting for if this is all the years of struggling for equality has amounted to? Where is the basic respect for, not just women, but for our fellow workers and colleagues? When one is at work, it should not be a matter of gender or sexuality. I believe whole-heartedly that both men and women should be treated fairly depending on their talents and hard work, not promoted based on their looks or flirtation with more senior members of staff. It is disgusting and saddens me to think that this could be going on more often than we are aware of purely because people don’t think to report it, or are not sure how to without losing their job altogether. The BBC should be ashamed for letting such a thing happen.