Thursday, 11 February 2016

Bloggers Block and Why It Is Not Always So Easy To Overcome

Bloggers Block

Bloggers block is something which I currently find myself battling with more and more often. It is an odd experience for me to deal with because in the past I have always had something to write about on here. Lately however, I have become extremely critical of what I publish online, I over analyse everything and I will openly hold my hands up to comparing myself against others. 

Having being reading a vast amount of blogs now for what will be four years come March, I have in that time seen a variety of different posts on how to deal with this type of issue, many of which have been super helpful. However, how do you deal with bloggers block when it just keeps on happening? Is the solution to really take a break? When this feeling keeps on rearing its ugly head it can make you panic somewhat. So many thoughts have run through my mind recently, maybe I will never get my blog mojo back, maybe, just maybe this isn't for me anymore.

I would be lying if I was to say that this thought had not popped into my head, although, as I have said on here a number of times before, I really do adore blogging and therefore find it somewhat inconceivable that I would ever stop; at least not any time soon anyway. 

There are a great deal of websites and articles online which are out there to inspire us and to get our creative minds on the go. Although for me (at least currently), no matter how many ideas I initially seem to have, I can never quite get them down onto paper or laid out before the camera lens. The harsh reality for me is that I rarely feel confident about the content that I produce. This has over time led to me feeling a little bit inadequate, which even by saying that makes me feel a little bit ridiculous. However when you enjoy something and care about it in equal measure then it can be quite demoralizing at times to think you are not good enough. We have probably all been there at some point. 

When I have been stuck for ideas I have found myself trawling the web for ideas, sometimes it is useful, sometimes it often can just make me feel worse and even more critical. One would think that with age comes the wisdom to simply do your own thing and to not worry what others think. I thought I was once there, but a few knock backs can often put you on the back foot. As a beauty blogger on a whole I generally worry my blog is a bit stagnant which is why I am trying to remove myself from dedicated reviews, although if I love that one particular lipstick then you betcha there will be one dedicated entirely to that. 

Upon writing this post I thought I knew where I would want to take it, however as I have made my way through it I realise that I have lost my way a little bit. It has ended up a bit of a jumbled mess, which I guess may resemble my mind set on blogging at the moment. 

How do you overcome bloggers block?
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Monday, 8 February 2016

Life Lately #4

Olympus Pen E-PL7

It has been over three months since I had a bit of a personal catch up over here, where in that time we have welcomed in a New Year and I have already failed a couple of my 2016 resolutions; that was always going to happen. Nevertheless this year has kicked off pretty well for me in terms of life outside of A Little Boat Sailing which I am forever grateful for. 

There isn't a huge amount to report on as I do like to keep my career and personal life to an extent private on here, although there are a few things that over the coming months I would like to write about. I know that for me personally I am in a relatively good place now, not just physically but also mentally as I think I finally know what I want from life and more importantly what I do not want. 

It won't have gone unnoticed that over here on my blog things have slowed down considerably. It is not that I don't want to blog anymore, it is purely because my time is taken up by so many other things. At first I found this pretty darn difficult to come to terms with, this space after all has been an escape from life for the past four years and to this day it still continues to be. Blogging will always be something that I keep on doing, however I just cannot post four times a week in an attempt to keep up with so many of my favourite bloggers. They say comparison is the thief of joy and do you know what, it is very, very true. For the longest time I have compared myself to so many bloggers, many of whom actually do this as their job, meaning that they have time to blog 9-5 each day, whereas I get about two hours of an evening and then the weekends. I have been very silly to even think that was possible for me. Kudos to those that manage it as so many bloggers do it extremely well, however I know that deep down I cannot and that's OK!  

My re-brand isn't going as well as I had hoped, although that is purely down to my lack of direction with a blog name. Deep down I know that I have outgrown A Little Boat Sailing, although the thought of calling this space something else does terrify me a little. Time again is an issue here as I won't let myself rush into a re-brand until I am really happy with the choices, therefore at the moment this is on a bit of a back seat until I either have a light bulb moment or until I next take some holiday from work. 

On the upside though I have noticed that the dark nights are slowly but surely drawing out which pleases me immensely. The last few months have had me convinced that I was suffering from SAD as the weather and darkness really have being getting me down; I just cannot wait for spring to arrive. Speaking of things which make me happy I have very recently purchased the Olympus Pen E-PL7 which I had being pondering over since last autumn. It is without a doubt a beautiful camera and that is before you have even turned it on. The fact that there was £100 off this was the reason I finally decided to purchase it, although I think I will have to wait until next pay day before I can buy a suitable case and strap for it. There are a great deal of bloggers who have this camera already, therefore if you are one of them and you have some recommendations for stores that sell nice accessories for the Olympus Pen then I would love to hear them.

Casetify iPhone Case

Remaining with accessories for one more moment, I have being meaning to share with you the Glitteresque iPhone Case* which I was kindly sent by the team at Casetify just before Christmas. They have so many different cases ranging from minimal to the outright crazy, there is most definitely something there for everyone so the site is worth looking at if you're in the market for a new phone case. Being able to change my phone case really does remind me of the good old days of the Nokia 3310; I had a mini wardrobe for my phone which was pretty awesome at the age of eight.

Olympus Pen E-PL7

Onto other things I have once again started to read the Harry Potter series, this will be heading towards the tenth time now and let me tell you something, it never gets boring. I have also finally started to use some of the colouring books which I have collected, namely those by Johanna Basford and Mille Marotta. Some people knock these and I am all for those having their own opinion, heck it would be a boring world if we all agreed wouldn't it. That being said I personally love these and have really being enjoying working on them over the weekend, I even managed to finish two recently which I will share over on my Instagram in the coming few days.

Beauty is never far from my mind, although I will admit to being a bit lax with it throughout January. I have cut back quite considerably on the amount of beauty products I buy, although I did fall for the Urban Decay Gwen Stefani Eye Shadow Palette at Christmas as it really is a beautiful and fantastic product. I have a few beauty favourites to write about next weekend which really, in hindsight, it should be the post that I am working on now instead of this one, however things don't always quite go to plan do they. That being said I can share with you a sneaky preview in that one of my beauty favourites is the Barry M Vintage Violet nail polish, it is a gorgeous muted violet with the trusty formula which I have come to know and love from my favourite budget nail polish brand.

If you made it to the end of this post having read all of this then I salute you, I most certainly didn't intend for it to be this long when I started. 
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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Currently Coveting #2

Currently Coveting #2

In good old traditional blogger style I find myself reverting back to one of the more classic types of post; the good old fashioned wish list. These have always been of an interest to me when it comes to reading other blogs, therefore I thought it may be nice to share with you some of the current products that I have being reading about lately.

The first product is the odd one out, that being the Cambridge Satchel Medium Push Lock bag in this beautiful deep wine colour. For the longest time I have wanted to own my own Cambridge Satchel as they are so well crafted and are of a classic design. This one actually popped into their sale and left it rather quickly, too quickly in fact for me to take advantage of that so perhaps I will wait a little bit longer before I finally pick one up. 

From Kiehl's there is a new product which has just launched, I spotted this on their Instagram feed the other day and it immediately caught my attention. The Cilantro and Orange Extract Pollutant Defending Mask defends against impurities and also replenishes the skin with vital nutrients. Whilst I will admit to not trying much from Kiehl's thus far, this product certainly intrigues me due to the fact that I commute a lot during the week; I dread to think of the pollution from the cars and trains that I am exposed to each day. 

Chanel Boy from the Rouge Coco Shine Lipstick range has been on my lipstick radar for a little while now. However for some reason whenever I go to see it for myself in store it never seems to be in stock; it must be quite a popular shade given that I have popped along three times and each time have not been able to swatch it for myself.

From Space NK I have picked out two products, both of which have received their fair share of hype over the last six months or so. The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette looks beautiful in store and from all the reviews online it certainly lives up to the hype. There's no denying that these products are more on the expensive side of things, however I do plan on picking this up in the next couple of months, although I may be tempted to buy one full size one as opposed to this set of three. The majority of products on Space NK lean towards the high end bracket, therefore it comes as no surprise that the Sunday Riley Luna Oil is expensive. I will admit to being very close to purchasing this just after Christmas, however I did think better of it at the time. I am extremely reluctant to pay out for this without having tried a sample before, something of which my local Space NK store never quite seem to be able to provide me with as they never have a tester bottle on display. 

The Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist has been mentioned within a wish list before and it currently still remains on it as I haven't yet got around to picking it up. I know a couple of people who really enjoy using this and their recommendations have to date always seen me well, therefore it is about time I finally purchased it. 

It is quite unusual for me to feature a base product as I rarely start to fall for the hype surrounding them. Whilst I would not say that there is a great deal of hype surrounding the Estee Lauder Double Wear Light I would say that what I have read from a number of trusty sources is that this is a great base. Unlike most beauty enthusiasts I have never tried the cult Double Wear foundation, as to me it seems as though it would be just too thick for my personal preference and skin type. Having said that I am extremely interested in trying this lighter version as it sounds like it would be much more suitable for me.

Have you tried any of the above products? 

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Monday, 1 February 2016

Detox With Debenhams

Detox With Debenhams
Over the last few weeks I have been making a conscious effort to eat better and to cut back on the old sugary treats. In fact, I have to say that I have being doing pretty well so far as I have being eating good during the week and then allowing myself something extra special of a weekend. I will admit to being the sort of person that will give in and eat all the rubbish if I deny myself that piece of chocolate for too long. Today my post ties in nicely with my attempt at looking after myself better as whilst sat planning a couple of blog posts on Saturday afternoon I received a surprised package from the team at Debenhams as part of their #DetoxwithDebs campaign. 

Inside was the Breville Blend-Active Blender*, which having never used one of these before I was super excited to give it a whirl. If you have any recipes of your favourite smoothies or healthy drinks then please do let me know. Seeing as though I had a few things knocking about in the fridge I did have a go at making my own shake, I used milk, strawberries and bananas and it wasn't too bad at all. This product did a fantastic job of blending the fruit and it was lovely and smooth, for the price of just £30 I actually think it is a fantastic buy.

Detox With Debenhams There were of course some delightful beauty treats sent out too which were focused upon the detox theme. The Nails Inc Overnight Detox Mask* and the Nails Inc Nail Growth Treatment* are both welcome additions as you all know the issues I face when it comes to growing my nails. These are actually pretty unusual compared to most Nails Inc polishes as they have a doe foot applicator, where you are promoted to rub the product into the nail bed as opposed to brushing it on. Over the next few weeks I will be giving these a road test because if anybody needs help with their nails then it is me.

The last product comes from Trilogy which is brand that I have very little experience of. The Trilogy Age-Proof CoQ10 Booster Oil* is one of the new products from the newly reformulated Age-Proof range. The combination of four plant oils known as Glycablend, which consists of pomegranate oil, chia seed oil, strawberry seed oil and blueberry seed oil helps to slow down the naturally occurring process of glycation. This is one of the key causes of ageing as it causes collagen and fibres to lose their elasticity. At the moment I am currently trying out a different product which this would replace in my routine if I were to start using it now, therefore I will come back to this in a couple of months. Nevertheless, reading up on this has me very intrigued about this product.

How did your new start go in January? 
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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Paper Chic Co Blog Planners

Paper Chic Co Blog Planners

Anything which helps to make me somewhat more organised in life immediately gets the thumbs up from me. Believe it or not I have always been pretty organised, although as time has gone by and my life has got busier some things have not got as much attention as perhaps they have deserved. One such thing is this blog here. Looking back over the last two years I have posted relatively regularly, in fact it has only been in the last six months where I have really struggled to produce three to four posts a week, although it certainly does not help that we are still stuck in winter which has made taking photographs of an evening pretty much non-existent. 

Nevertheless in a bid to become more organised of an evening (even though I cannot take my photos until the weekend) I have started using the Paper Chic Co Blog Post Planner* which has been pretty useful so far. Paper Chic Co is a brand run by the lovely Claudia from Beauty and the Chic, I have been a long time reader of her blog so I am delighted to hear that she has expanded her horizons. She has created some fantastic blogger friendly planners alongside options for everyday life too, they are well worth looking into if, like me you could do with a bit of help planning your blog content.

From using this during the week I can sum up the post I want to write whilst relaxing elsewhere instead of being in front of my PC. Due to the fact that I work in front of a computer at work for the majority of the day, it is very rare that I will find myself at mine come the evening. Whilst I don't write my whole post down on here I do tend to bullet point ideas, perhaps maybe even planning out how I will take my photographs on the weekend. Timing is somewhat of the essence at the moment as the short days only really give you few good hours of daylight in order to get a nice clear picture, therefore having an idea already planned out is so incredibly useful.

Claudia is working super hard on Paper Chic Co so it is only natural that I wanted to share this with you today in order to show my support. She runs a pretty fantastic beauty blog too alongside creating pretty planners so make sure you head on over to say hello.
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