What Makes Me Feel Like A Proper “Grown Up”

Recently I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a grown up.… I’m not a kid anymore. I’m a grown up. Do you know how I know this? Because I do all of these things:

Using the outdoor washing line so I don’t have crunchy towels. I hate crunchy towels. It doesn’t matter how much fabric softener I use, my towels are never soft. My towels hate me.

Owning a bag for life. Even though I never use it unless I need somewhere to store my clothes when I clear my wardrobes out. Or when I’m moving house. That’s it though. I never use the bag for life in quite the way they have been intended. I have a drawer filled with bags for life. Those fuckers are gonna outlive me, that’s for sure. They don’t ever get used. That’s why they are a bag for life. It’s a con.

Not eating the entire bar of chocolate. I can actually open a bar, eat like five squares, wrap it up and put it back in the cupboard now. When I wasn’t a grown up, I would have eaten the entire bar. Chocolate in resealable bags were wasted on me. Now I use the resealable bags. I’m a grown up now. I can say no when enough is enough. Well, sometimes anyway.

I own an umbrella. When I wasn’t a grown up, I danced in the rain. I love the rain. I find the rain weirdly romantic in a wet kinda way. One of my ultimate fantasies is to recreate the scene in Nine and a Half Weeks where they fuck in the rain, on the stairs, down a deserted alley. So hot. Too hot. But now I’m an adult, the rain worries me. My makeup might run… I straightened my hair this morning, and it’ll go frizzy if it’s wet. I’ll be wet… Back then I didn’t care.

I don’t like drinking anymore and I suffer with three day hangovers. Actual three day hangovers. Not exaggerated ones. You know that thing they tell you when you’re young – you’ll grow outta partying every night and one day your hangovers will kill you? Yep, that truly does happen.

Eating Ceasar salad. What an adult dinner dish. As I sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and top it all off with a few croutons, I admire my handiwork and think to myself, what an adult dinner! It even looks like a grown up dinner, all healthy and nutritious and colourful. Apparently all of us grow up in the end…

Walking past 18 year old versions of myself. Or even younger these days. I see them – the little blonde girls with the big blue eyes and the badass streak and I think, what happened to me? I used to be one of those girls. Now I worry about paying my mobile phone bill on time and whether or not my sun cream is strong enough for me to avoid getting cancer.. will my hair fall out if I go blonder.

So there you have it. I’m a grown up. I get excited by things and I worry about whether or not I’ve had the time to bleach the toilet this week.. I would rather have an easy life and long for a relationships without too many dramas.

Reaching 10K Readers

Yes that is right Huns!!! 10K READERS!!

I couldn’t be anymore proud of myself, thank you all for your continued support and taking your time to read my content. LOVE TO YOU ALL

Thank you for listening to my rants, my unusual advice and just my life in general. I know I am such a bad blogger now, my posts are not quite as frequent and I do not share as much anymore. I STILL do write as discussed in one of my blog posts – I just do not share as often 😉 https://thesocialblonde.blog/2021/04/20/why-i-write/

I am going to keep this short and sweet but here are a list of the countries my blog has reached!

Your support has been incredible, I never thought it would have taken off to 10K, I only started this blog as something to keep me busy and occupied as I love writing. To have this much support behind me is unreal. 10,000 People reading my content, that is such an achievement.

I’ve been documenting my life for just over a year in this brutally honest blog, covering painful breakups, delicious make-ups, awkward first dates, sex tips, tough mental health battles, and some very #NSFW sex tales. (Even a few embarrassing ones, too.)

I’m telling the tales of all the boys + girls I’ve loved before, all the boys + girls I’ve f*cked before, and all the VERY bad decisions I’ve made.

And I’m pretty unapologetic about the lot. But you know what? I am not going to stop! My goal is to turn 10,000 into 20,000 readers by January 2022!

The Social Blonde, can and will do this!

Much love to all my readers, Xoxo

Why I Write….

I feel the need to apologise for being a bad blogger again, but I’m trying to do less apologising in 2021. It’s one of those New Year’s Resolutions that I’ve already broken, but hey, there’s still plenty of time to turn things around. 

2020 was a weird year. 2021 has been so kind to me so far. I’m hoping it will stay this way..

FINGERS CROSSED, FOLKS. 

I definitely should blog more, though. I got the domain and hosting renewal email a while back and actually wondered whether I should bother. It’s not like I blog these days. What’s the point in having a blog when you don’t blog? So, I cancelled the renewal and figured I’d let it run out. 

Exactly 25 minutes later, I renewed everything I just cancelled. I *am* still a blogger. I have 70+ blog posts here, some not quite finished, never published. I still write. I write a lot. I just don’t share my words with the world anymore because I’m a wimp. [Translation: anxiety.] But I want to start sharing again. I miss it. I always miss it.

BEFORE I START SHARING, I WANT TO SHARE A LITTLE BIT OF WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON IN MY LIFE … 

I’m still with that guy.. We’re still very happy, looking at travelling the world together as of next year!

I am half way through my Business Mangement degree! Amazing I know.

My anxiety and depression are still winning every day. However I have been fully signed off my Therapy! I have lost more weight, enough to get skinny-shamed by people I haven’t seen in a while.. I have weird eating habits that aren’t specific enough to be classed as an eating disorder, but definitely involve a lot of control. And that’s the first time I’ve ever admitted that. 

I wanted to settle down, get a mortgage and have kids, but now I just want to travel and feel free with the love of my life.

Found out I am allergic to latex – wish I had a funny story to tell about this but I do not.

I have learnt I am a massive shopaholic and could probably open up my own clothes store at this rate..

Lockdown made me realise there is more to my hometown and making memories with the ones you love is so important.

My mum and I have gotten so close, I love the relationship we have now!

I have cut all toxic people out of my life, had a massive social media blitz and I am so frigging happy!!!

Avoided medical appointments. Chipped a front tooth opening a wine bottle. Cried more tears than I could ever tell you about and had bigger meltdowns than 2007 Britney. I didn’t shave my head, although I came close once or twice. (I’m not even kidding.) 

I binge-watched everything — literally everything — there is to watch on Netflix, whilst working 9 hour days (from home). I like to pretend that I work that much for the money, and a big part of it is that, but it’s also because working is easier than thinking. There were a few points in 2019 and 2020 that were so low and bleak I didn’t know if I’d make it through. I’m fine and I didn’t do anything stupid, but I thought about it almost every day. I got myself a new tattoo instead. It’s like an acceptable form of self-harm. I probably shouldn’t say that, but it totally is. Most of my tattoos came about during periods of darkness in my life. 

And that’s pretty much where I’m at. Trying to get my shit together, love myself and LIVE! Things can change with the flip of a coin. But I am not kidding my life is pretty fucking dandy right now and I have so much going for me! Thailand, Asia and Italy are on the cards next year for sure!!

Anyway, I hope you’re all doing well.

WHAT’S BEEN GOING ON IN YOUR LIVES? 

How I improved My Mental Health

I have made a list of things I have done to improve my mental health, similar to self care tips but a little different! Some of these were easy to do, others it took time, but I made it happen and I have benefited ever since.

While there are many ways your family and friends can support you in improving your mental health, you should be self sustainable as well. Implement use of some of the things I did and you will notice a decrease in anxiety, decrease in depressive symptoms and an improvement in mindfulness. 

STARTED JOURNALING AND BLOGGING

I was gifted a creativity journal and I have adored it since I have gotten it. This journal helped improve my mindfulness and I was able to tap into my creative side! I started blogging which improved my confidence and ability to write everything down and share my stories with you all.

SELF REFERRAL TO THERAPY

I self referred myself to therapy, I am now undergoing severe PTSD Therapy with Somerset Talking Therapies and I cannot share with you enough how this has helped me have closure from very traumatic events.

THE greatest thing I could do to improve myself is acknowledge my need to grow and develop further. There were things from my past that I needed to process and I needed to be held accountable for my inconsistent and unhealthy boundaries with others.

I needed to learn things that would align me better within my career and allow me to function higher within society.

SET BOUNDARIES

Learning to say “no” was one of the hardest things I had to do. It was absolutely necessary to learn to set healthy boundaries for my mental health. I would over exert myself and do work that was not mine. I would allow individuals to take what should have been a strength and turn it into a weakness.

AKE A MENTAL HEALTH DAY

Last year,  I made sure to take a day here and there to myself for myself. I did not explain anything to anyone and just switched my phone off and had a pamper day. I now do this weekly, it is the greatest thing you can do to take time for your mind to repair and breath. It took a few times before I finally got the hang of taking a day off without guilt. However, I now look forward to sleeping in, going to therapy and meditating. 

DETOXED MY SOCIAL MEDIA

A little different than taking time away from social media, I went through my personal social media accounts daily and purged it. If I saw someone posting negativity or things that did not align with my vision, they were deleted and occasionally blocked. To this day, I still do this (I have way too many friends) and I love seeing it less and less. 

ALLOWED PEOPLE TO CUT ME OFF AND VICE VERSA

I would try so hard to keep people in my life that were not meant to be in it. It took them doing me so wrong or cutting me off. I became open to being the villain in someone’s story and accepting what I could have done differently in relationships/friendships.

SET GOALS

Similar to setting goals for my professional life I began setting goals for my mental health. Just as I would set my sights on receiving more certifications, I would also set a goal to meditate or journal more. From month to month, I would begin to implement good habits to overcome the bad ones and improve my mental health. 

ACCEPT MY IMPERFECTIONS

One of the things I’ve done to improve my mental health is to accept myself “flaws and all”. Where I once saw blemishes in appearance, inadequacies in performance, I now see that I am where I need to be at this point in my life. While there is always room to grow, I am sure to reward myself for how far I have come. I am sure to acknowledge the beauty inside and out, that others see so easily. 

FOCUSED ON WHERE I AM

I get so worked up into where I want to be that I – at times- forget about where I am. I love having goals and achieving them, I mean who doesn’t. I just needed to really focus on where I am to not only accomplish a goal but to soak in all I could so that I could avoid mistakes, educate others and realise if I liked doing what I wanted or not. 

READ MORE BOOKS

I read so many books when I was younger and needed to get back in tune with it. Not just to be mindful but to escape and go into a world that I imagined myself. Lately, I have incorporated self help, personal development, mental health and autobiographies into my reading list.

GOING FOR DAILY WALKS IN THE EVENING

I have recently started doing this and honestly my mind is so clear, after each day I am going for a 3 mile walk and unwinding after a busy day.

I suffered really bad at the start of 2020 with really bad depression and anxiety, I rigged myself out of it and I have come out of the other end. I hope sharing my stories, opinions and tips will help you improve yours. Remember YOU need to do this for YOU!

All My Love,

Peace, Love and Gin xoxo

Tips For Starting A Blog

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all well.

Today is quite literally my most requested blog post of all time; how to start a blog, run one, get people to read it, make money from it etc, so I thought I’d finally get round to writing one up for you all!

Nervous?

Everyday I get messages from people saying they want to start a blog but they’re scared about what people will say or think. So, I know mine is a work in progress and most people know who I am and I’ve been literally ripped the piss out of it. Do I care? Do I fuck. My dream since I was 4 years old has been to write, and that’s what I’m doing, so it sucks to be you if you give a shit that someone else is achieving their dreams.

If you want to start a blog, start a blog. You’re doing it for you, not for anyone else. Fuck ’em.

Find Your Topic

So, you want to start a blog. First of all, what are you going to write about? Travel, beauty, fitness, cooking, books,relationships, gaming, interiors, or a bit of everything? Decide what it is you want to blog about, and go from there. It doesn’t matter what you want to write about, just do it – make sure you’re passionate about it though.

Choose Your Platform

The two main platforms, as far as I’m aware, for starting a blog, are WordPress and Blogger. I know nothing about Blogger, but I have heard that it’s pretty good. I started my blog on WordPress, by literally signing up and having a WordPress hosted site; so it was .wordpress.com, and then I switched after about 6 months I believe, when I bought my own domain .co.uk however it is still hosted via WordPress.

I find Wordress really easy to use, to edit and create blogs, and look at your website stats and views, pretty much anyone could use WordPress easily!

Create Your Social Media

I recommend creating your own blog social media channels; so rather than promoting everything on your personal Twitter and Instagram (which of course you should also do) and I do, I think that you should start specific accounts with the same names as your blog, just so it’s easier for people to find you, and makes everything nice and concise.

You don’t have to do that, or do any of my points, but it’s just what I think looks good and makes everything easier.

Equipment

You really don’t need anything more than a phone with internet access to start out; you don’t need to splash out on big fancy cameras, editing equipment and MacBook Pros! You can take bright, clear images on an iPhone and edit them, and you can write and edit blog posts on your phone too. It does make it easier to do it on a laptop, but it’s really not a necessity.

Costs

My domain/hosting fees for my website costs me a certain amount per year, but if you’re not buying a domain and just running  a WordPress site, it’s free.

Be Yourself

So, you’ve created your blog and social media, and you’ve began posting. Make sure you stay true to yourself. Of course people grow and evolve and I’m certainly a very different and way more mature person now than I was when I started, but you need to stay true to who you are, and put your personality across in your posts.

Gaining Followers/Readers

This is probably one of my most asked questions surrounding starting a blog; how do you grow it, and gain followers? The long and short answer is I have no idea how I have managed to get so many of you angels reading my shit and following me, but you do and I’m grateful for it. Hard work, dedication, posting regularly, being yourself, and being original is pretty much my advice. Be creative and work at it, and people will want to read it.

Connect with other bloggers by following them and engaging with their content, as hopefully they will engage back and it may result in some of their followers discovering you too.

Tag any brands you’re writing about in your posts too, as sometimes they share them, or repost your Instagram pictures, which can help you gain followers.

Making Money

If you’re starting a blog to make money, quit while you’re ahead, honestly. When I started, I had no clue you could make a penny from blogging. I started because I loved writing and wanted a space on the internet to write, and share it with people.

I am very, very grateful that I have managed to turn my blog into a small income, and I feel nothing but happiness for that everyday. I never intended to make money from it.

The reason I say to not bother if you’re only in it to make money, is because people can see through that. People can tell if you’re just in it for the £££ and nothing else, and it makes you unrelatable, unobtainable and just not fun to follow. If I stopped making money from my blog today, I’d still carry on blogging, because I love it. I love writing about how to get over a break up, how to realise your self worth, about good restaurants, what blusher is best for pale skin; I love every single aspect of it and I never began blogging to make a penny. I have been so lucky to gain an amazing audience in all of you, which means that brands want to work with me from time to time, and as of 2021 I will be doing freelance writing for magazines.

Working with Brands

If you do want to make money from it eventually, then you can contact likeminded brands, e.g. if you’re a fashion blogger, you can get in touch with clothing brands about working together. I will say, though, from a brand perspective, they will usually only start paying when your following reaches a certain level. I am not saying that you don’t deserve to be paid for your work if you have a smaller audience, because you do, but brands work on a return on investment basis and if they think they will get a return on their money and then some by working with you.

Freebies

Just like making money, I didn’t know you could get anything for free when I started; after 6 months, I got sent my first ever freebie; an apple face mask, and I remember being so excited I was jumping up and down in my bedroom. I couldn’t believe anyone would ever want to send me something for free, it was just bizarre to me.

After nearly a year I am very lucky to get freebies. I do not take this for granted, ever ever ever.

Again, if you’re just after freebies, don’t start blogging; you need to be writing about things you love, and not care about whether or not you’re getting sent a free lipstick! It’s wonderful, don’t get me wrong of course it is, but I write because I love it, not for free stuff!

Like the brand collaborations for money, you can of course contact brands about reviewing their products on your blog. Email introducing yourself and blog, share your statistics and demographic, and outline what kind of collaboration you’re after. Don’t be downhearted if you don’t get a response, it’s totally normal, as brands get a hell of a lot of requests!

Love What You Do

Write about what you love, because you love it. Don’t focus on numbers, or what people think; blogging has been such a creative and emotional outlet for me and I thank my lucky stars every day that I created this blog; it’s changed my life, and it’s helped me through some really hard times.

I really hope this has spurred on any of you considering starting a blog, and feel free to message any questions I’ve missed!

Speak soon.

Peace, Love and Gin Xoxoxo