Whose blog is it anyway?

When I first starting blogging back in 2012, I never thought I’d get any followers. Who’d be interested in my ramblings? I now have followers, and I am so grateful for every one of you. To be honest though, for a long time, I found myself not being able to blog on here because I felt so guilty that I didn’t have the time to read the posts of everyone who follows me. So I figured, if I don’t blog, then I won’t have to upset the people who would have known I’d been online but hadn’t read their posts. It probably doesn’t make any sense, but I didn’t want to offend anyone.

Now that I run the Merryn family of websites (Books, Charity, Magazine and Music) as well as doing my day job, I have even less time than I did in 2012. I have sorted out my email account so that I can read the posts written by my friends, but I am honestly so sorry if I’ve posted recently and haven’t been over to read your blog. If I win the lottery and can leave my day job, I’ll have time to read everyone’s blog. Until then, I have to be selective with my time as trying to please everyone has been making me ill. I figured it was better to focus on my health, which means scaling back on how many people’s blog posts I can follow.

I just wanted to put this out there so people don’t think I am ignoring them by choice, I’m so sorry x

Manic Panic Hair Dye

I have dyed my hair a few times in the past with Manic Panic dye, I even filmed the last one and popped it on YouTube (video at the bottom).

I really really want to dye my hair again so I have been looking at the options on the Manic Panic website. I’m going on a special day out with Michelle in June so I’m going to dye my hair the weekend before.

Since I last checked out their website, they have added loads of new colours so I’m really stuck for choice. I have managed to narrow it down though 🙂

I think out of all of them, I’m most taken by Hot Hot Pink but Michelle prefers Purple Haze, but I guess all will be revealed in June! I’m so excited!

(if you click on the image, it will take you straight to the webpage for that colour if you wanted to find out more information)

Velvet Violet
Plum Passion
Deep Purple Dream
Purple Haze
Fuschia Shock
Vampire® Red
Infra™ Red
Cleo Rose™
Hot Hot™ Pink

The weight race: the final verdict

20161231-the-weight-race-2016

In January of this year, me and Michelle decided to go vegan for lots of different reasons, but for me being lactose intolerant was one of the main reasons.

One of the happy outcomes of this lifestyle change was; the weight started coming off me really easily. I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, so losing weight isn’t exactly easy but I have to say that being vegan is really suiting my body. As well as going vegan, we also dropped refined sugar, which has really helped too.

I just calculated that this year I have lost a whopping 2st 3lbs, which I am really happy with! This is the lowest I have weighed in the 8 years that Michelle and I have been together, and therefore the lowest weight I’ve been in my 30s! I’m excited to see how much I will lose in 2017, as we will be starting back in the gym in January after a bout of ill health stopped us going in.

Bring on 2017! 🙂

My blog is 4 years old today!

4-year-anniversaryI just popped on to my blog to catch up on posts and found out from my notifications that my blog is 4 years old today! This was the very first blog I ever created, and back in 2012 I was reluctant to even start one as back then blogs were quite often seen as “Look at me! Look at me! Give me attention!” kind of things, and seen in a negative light. Happily, people love blogs now 🙂

I haven’t had the chance to blog on here as often as I would like, but this blog gives me the opportunity to chat about all kinds of stuff that I enjoy, like films, music and food, and I love having an outlet to just waffle in 🙂

I took a look at my stats over the last 4 years, and here’s what I have found:

I’ve had an amazing 7,866 views! That’s crazy! I never realised that I’d had over 3,000 visitors too. For such a small blog, that’s a fantastic number.

4-year-views

I was interested to see what my most popular posts had been over the years too:

In 2013 it was when I was nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award, which I was very proud about 🙂

In 2014 it was a poster about a bike repair and recycle project in Frodsham, which is such a great idea.

In 2015 it was a post about desserts from my childhood, which was inspired by a post by Nostalgia Pie in a post about ‘Old-Skool Ice-Cream Flavours‘. It was a fun post to research and gave me such a trip down memory lane!

So far in 2016, the most popular post has been about The Voice’s battle round 1 on 27th February 2016. I love The Voice and I was sad to hear that it was leaving the BBC for ITV, but now that I’ve heard that Tom Jones is back on it, along with will.i.am, I can’t wait to watch the new series 🙂

I had a look at the search terms that brought people to my blog and to be honest, they were all fairly relevant to the posts people ended up looking at. I was expecting comedic ones, but they were all pretty sensible. The post that a lot of search terms brought people to my blog for was “My favourite Sia songs“. I love Sia, and the fact that I mentioned that I walked down the aisle at my wedding in 2010 to Sia’s song, Day Too Soon seems to have brought a lot of people to my blog.

I have to say that I have loved having this blog and I am excited to see what I get to post about in the next 4 years! 🙂

Wednesday wisdom: Aldous Huxley

aldous-huxley-ww1
So many times I have felt like a passenger in my own life. Like someone else was in charge of the driving, and I was a hapless victim, waiting to find out where we are going and feeling ambivalent about it all. I have started to realise recently that I may not be able to influence the big things in life like health issues, money issues, etc, but I actually do have some small amount of control in certain areas of my life, and it’s on those areas that I am now going to focus  🙂

Less than 16 weeks to go!

But, to what you may ask! Well, it’s my 38th birthday in November and I am planning on going somewhere really fun and important to me, but I can’t tell you where yet as it’s top secret!

Sadly our car stopped working on Monday and we don’t have the money to get it fixed yet, so for now I am walking to work, which is 2.3 miles. There and back gives me exercise of 4.6 miles a day, which takes about an hour each way, so two hours in total. It was day 1 yesterday, which went fine, but I was so stiff when I got up today!

I’m currently 14st 8lbs so I’m hoping to lose a couple of stones with all of the walking (I only eat 1500 calories of healthy vegan food each day so hopefully it should be easy!), I’m hoping to be around the 12st mark by the big day.

Wish me luck! 🙂

Do you know an unsigned UK artist or band?

One of the things I love to champion is unsigned UK artist and bands. With that in mind, I run a regular feature on the Merryn Magazine website on Mondays called Independent Music Monday where I interview a different singer or band each week. If you know of anyone that I should be featuring, please ask them to take a look at this webpage, as that will give them more information 🙂

Weigh(t) to go – July 2016

Hello, happy July! (I know, I know, I’m a bit late with that greeting!)

I have been utterly rubbish at going in the gym since the last post in May, I was working flat out on issue 2 of the magazine, as well as working full-time in my day job, so the gym was the last thing on my mind every evening! Weirdly, I have actually lost weight but I’m not going to complain that I don’t understand how.

With regards to my weight loss, I was 14 stones 7lbs (203lbs/93kg) at the start of this month, which means I have lost 7lbs (3kg) in 2 months, which I’m really happy with. I know that people say that the slower you lose it, the more likely you are to keep it off, so that works for me!

Here’s my latest infopic. So, since 11th January I have lost a total of 2 stones 1lbs, which I’m really happy about! Onwards and upwards and I really hope that I can report back in in August with another weight loss 🙂

The weight race- (non-IG)- 01-07-16

Weigh(t) to go – May 2016

Hello, happy May!

I don’t know about you, but the first third of the year for me was shockingly bad, and watching the clock count down to midnight last night felt like New Year’s Eve. I’m so glad to see the back of January-April, and I am excited to see what May-August brings!

With regards to my weight loss, I am exactly 15 stones (210lbs/95kg) this morning, which is a nice place to be at the start of the month. I recorded in my blog post “So hello 2015!” which was on 11th January 2015, that I was 16st 8lbs (232lbs/106kg), so I have lost 1 stone 8lbs (22lbs/11kg) in 16 months, which I’m really happy about!

The weight loss did start coming off quicker once I went vegan on 1st January this year, and I started back in the gym recently, so I’m hoping that when I do my next weight update on 1st June that I will have lost even more! 🙂

To help me to see how far I’ve come, I’ve created a little infopic for myself 🙂

The weight race- (non-IG)- 01-05-16

I’ve got a Liebster Award!

liebster-award-10Thank you so much to the lovely Vinnie for my Liebster Award! It’s always an honour to get an award from my blogging peers 🙂

The rules of the Liebster Award are, you answer the questions posed to you by the person who nominated you, you think up 11 questions and pose them to 11 of your chosen blogs. I have no idea why it’s 11 questions and blogs, but I’ve usually seen it to be 11. I like to read the answers to the questions other people have asked, it’s a great way to learn more about the people you follow and leads onto all kinds of conversations 🙂

So, here are the questions Vinnie posed to me:

1. What do you find most beneficial about being a blogger?
I actually wrote this answer after writing number 6 as I’d originally skipped it, so now I know that it gives me the opportunity to just chill out and read some amazing blog posts by clever and funny people 🙂

2. What are your views on nudism?
I used to live in Brighton and they have a nudist beach and it never bothered me. I think it’s great that there are nudist camps where nudists can just be themselves without worrying about complaints or the police trying to arrest them.

3. Have you ever gone to see a movie that you were too young to watch at the time?
No, I am so dull! I would never have dared try in case my mum found out. I’d have been for the high jump if she did!

4. If you could date a Hollywood star, who would it be?
Before I was happily married, I would have said Channing Tatum. I love Step Up, he’s so good in that.

5. If you were the supreme ruler of a country, what would be the first law you would pass?
That people had to be nicer/more helpful/more supportive/any positive trait really, or they’d be thrown in jail. I know that’s unrealistic as how would you even police that? There doesn’t need to be the amount of murders, burglaries, crimes, etc. that there are daily, it’s so sad to constantly read negative news in the, erm, news. I love blogs like Kindness Blog, they share the most inspirational stories, guaranteed to make you smile. And cry.

6. What do you consider to be the best thing about your blog?
Another hard question! I don’t really think about my blog. I think because I run so many other websites; for Michelle’s books, for the magazine, for events and attractions, this blog is my downtime blog, where I get to chat about what films I’ve seen, or music I like, or “it’s hug your cat day!” type posts! So I guess the best thing is, it helps me chill out after a crazy day at work before I start working on all of my other websites! Thanks Vinnie, I hadn’t thought of it like that before!

7. Do you believe in the supernatural or paranormal?
I do believe in the supernatural and paranormal. I had to look up what the difference was and I still don’t fully understand it. I have experienced things in the past I couldn’t explain away and I sometimes feel like I pick up ‘messages’ for people. I don’t exactly hear a ‘message’ as clearly as someone verbally delivering it, it’s a weird intuition. A lot of my ‘messages’ for people have come true, I have quite a high hit rate. I have no idea what it is though.

8. Where is your dream destination for a holiday?
Believe it or not, with all of the places we can travel to, it’s Brighton. I lived there for just over a year a long time ago, and of all of the places I have lived (I am now living in my 7th city), Brighton was hands down my ultimate favourite. It’s such a great place to live, there’s always something going on. I moved there in a very cold February, and even though it’s by the seaside, there was plenty going on. From eating freshly cooked doughnuts on the pier, to going to the aquarium, to going shopping in The Lanes and Churchill Square, Brighton is a great place for a holiday and if I ever won the lottery, I’d buy a house there in a second.

9. What is the first horror movie you recall viewing?
The People Under the Stairs (1991) when I was around 14. I had a small portable TV in my bedroom, and it was on Channel 4 as part of some horror season, it may have been around Halloween. I shouldn’t have watched it, it really freaked me out. I can’t even discuss the plot here. If you don’t know it, Google it, you’ll find out all about it! I also saw The Poseidon Adventure (1972) when I was about 7, but only the part after the water comes in. That actually gave me a lifelong phobia of boats and ferries!

10. If you had a magic power, what would it be?
To remove the calories from chocolate. That would be awesome!

11. And finally, what do you believe the future holds for you?
Wow, happy stuff, I hope. The last 6 years since Michelle got her brain injury in the car accident have been so hard, I really hope that our luck is turning. My magazine comes out in April so I’m hoping that people get behind it and spread the word. I’d love to do that, and the events website, full-time, so you never know!

Thanks for those great questions Vinnie, I had fun answering them.

Now it’s time for me to nominate 11 great blogs (though I could only choose 8!):
Nanny Cool
Abbi Osbiston
Cinema Parrot Disco
Mr Rumsey’s Film Related Musings
Nostalgia Pie
Beetleypete
Squibb Vicious
Steve Says…

My questions for the lucky 8 who choose to accept my challenge are below:

1. Which film do you think everybody should see, and why?
2. If money were no object, what would you do with your time?
3. Do you have any funny responses when you receive spam phonecalls?
4. Is there any animal that you’d like as a pet, but can’t because they’re not really ‘in the house’ pets?
5. If a film was being made about your life, what would they call it and who would you want to play you?
6. What do you enjoy most about blogging?
7. What was your favourite place that you’ve ever been?
8. What’s your favourite quote?
9. What was the first record/cassette/CD/download single you ever bought?
10. What do you love most about where you live?
11. What made you start blogging?

So, I hope you enjoyed my blog post and good luck to my nominees!