Recently I’ve realised I’m very much a ‘let’s plan, let’s organise every inch of my life’ kinda person. This trait is 70% great, and 30% annoying- because it means I’m driven to look ahead and work my hardest towards personal goals, but it also means I hardly flippin’ relax and chill owwwwt. There’s a lotta maintenance, hard work and effort that goes into creating a blog, and sustaining that blog, and I’ll spend a good portion of my week writing posts, and promoting them across social media. However, although that cuts out quality chill time, I do adore having this blog and typing away, so I wouldn’t change it for anything. And one looovely lil perk that comes with putting your all into a blog, is that I’ve luckily been chosen by some PR peoples to head to events across Birmingham.
And being an uber organiser, towards the end of each season, and yearly, I like to reflect on my progress as a blogger, refocus my ambitions and in turn keep myself on track to *fingers crossed* somehow achieve my dreams after I leave the uni bubble. So seeing as summer is slipping away from us- *cries forever*- I thought I’d write a lil post today about my blogging highlights thus far this summer, and refocus my goals for the coming season. We’ll start with the highlights, and then I’ll chat about some things I want to improve over here on this bit o’ the internet- because I’m just started with this website.
July brought events – and downtime
July was a busy one. And a tricky one.
I headed back to Brum for an evening with Giffgaff! You may know Giffgaff as a mobile network, but as of late they’re branchin’ out to finance, with a moneysaving app, Giffgaff Gameplan, launching very soon! At the event we heard from those at Giffgaff who are the brains behind the mobile network’s new venture, and we found out some info about how Giffgaff can help us become better budgeters, and better savers.
Wanna know more? This is what Giffgaff has to say about Gameplan:
“Giffgaff changed the mobile industry, and we built a network that’s run by you, our members.
“Now we’ve set our sights on personal finance. Finance is complicated, but essential to reaching life goals, ‘traditional’ banks are great at keeping your money safe, but do you know where all your money goes to at the end of the month and how to make it go further? It’s time to get smart.
“Take charge of your finances and make real savings. We’ll help you understand your financial health so you can make simple actions and save for those things, big or small, that you’ve always wanted.
“Become a part of the Giffgaff Gameplan community at: www.giffgaff.com/gameplan.”
In order to introduce us to some money saving techniques, and get us to know a lil more about what Giffgaff Gameplan stands for, us bloggers were put into teams to play the most fun Monopoly-esque money saving board game. Now, anyone that knows me well knows to steer clear of me when we play a boardgame, because sheeeesh, I ain’t half competitive. But considering I actually managed to do quite well at the game on the night, I found myself relaxing into the fun of it all!
This event took place at York’s Cafe in the Ikon Gallery near Brindleyplace in Birmingham- and it is one of my FAVOURITE places. I’d been meaning to come to York’s for the whole flippin’ two years I’d been studying my degree, and finally I could see what all the fuss is about at this place. The decor is beautiful, the drinks are insane and the food is somethin’ else. Just take a look at this:
And the best thing about blogging events are the gals I get to see again- likeminded Birmingham bloggers, my age, who are striving towards their chosen careers by using their blogging platform to showcase their talent, and to also promote a positive voice in the online sphere. It was so lovely to catch up with them again!
But with July came tough times too. I had to take a couple of weeks away from blogging, and I’ve missed the odd post here and there – but sometimes I need to learn when to switch off, and that it’s bladdy okay to switch off and have some downtime too. I went on holiday with my family, and allowed my mind to stop whirring a million miles an hour. And that moment of calm was everything I needed.
August is a go-go-go!
This month has flown by in the blink of an eye, I sweeear to ya. The fact that Bank Holiday Weekend is drawing closer makes me feel a lil sick to be quite frank, because it means summer is slowly drawing to a close. And summer is my favourite ever ever season- I’m my best self when the sun is shining and the days are long. I don’t quite want it to end, ya know?
Anyways, August kicked off to a flying start with a vvvv fun evening out at Lane 7, Birmingham’s new late night bowling alley. I just had so much fun with my boyfriend and bestest friends, the venue has such a retro, feelgood vibe and the playlist in that place is INSANE. If you want to find out more about what we got up to, I’ve got a bumper blog post allll about the evening which you can check out here.
Then last week, I took my best pal, Hannah, back to Brum on the train for a midday call at Dirty Martini. My fave cocktail bar chain is officially launching the Martini Brunch- think afternoon tea but with actually amazing finger food that 100% fills you up, bottomless prosecco and an extensive choice of flippin’ scrummy martinis. It’s wonderful.
You might remember that I went to the opening night of Dirty Martini when it launched in Birmingham back around Easter- and you can find that blog post here. I’d never been to a press event quite like it. The staff treated you amazingly, the bar has such an electric atmosphere and it’s the perfect place to go for a cocktail (or three).
And this time around, they did not disappoint- they excelled, again! We were ushered inside at midday, into the swathe lil booths that surround the art deco interiors of Dirty Martini- immediately offered a glass of prosecco (which the staff insisted they would come and refill the second they saw we’d finished) and gave us the drinks list to choose our martini. From mango and chilli, to the classic espresso martini, each cocktail is unique to Dirty Martini and is infused with sooo many delicious flavours- it really is hard to resist!
As we were chatting away, the food arrived. And ohmygoodness, the FOOD! For a meat lover like myself, there’s plenty of choice on hand at Dirty Martini, and because it’s in the perfect, finger food-sized portions, you don’t feel guilty about piggin’ yaself. From lil mini burgers, to gourmet chicken strips and sweet potato fries, you can get all up in indulgence at Dirty Martini. My only slight wee criticism? My pal, Hannah, is vegan- and she struggled to find enough to fill her throughout the buffet. However, we did have what was labelled as the ‘meat birdcage’- although it did promise to have vegan options on it as well. I’m reckoning next time, all veggies and vegan lovers should definitely go for the ‘veggie birdcage’, even if the menu states there are veggie options on the meaty choice. Jus sayin’.
So one thing August has taught me: get yo ass down to Dirty Martini, people. Every Saturday, from 12.30pm-2.30pm, and for just £25 per person, enjoy martinis and bottomless prosecco and food served in one of the delish brunch birdcages. Sounds a plan, Stan!
Yet summer has provided me with more lessons to be learnt
One more thing this summer season has taught me: I’m only just getting started on this website. If someone turned to me tomorrow and said that the editor of my favourite magazine was about to look at my blog as an example of my work, I’d panic. If my favourite fashion blogger found me online and looked up my work, I’d be terrified. That’s not to say I’m not proud of how my blog has developed thus far, and the opportunities I’ve accrued since starting Madeleine Mae, but I have so much more I want to do with this website; so much more I’m sure with time on my hands I might be capable of.
Some of these personal goals for this blog I had set aside time over this summer to work towards, such as growing my lil following further, getting consistent quality content up and deciding new ways to make my blog stand out from the saturated crowd, but life has thrown me a whole different board game this summer and I’ve had to put all of this on the backburner. I’ve had some stuffs goin’ on, and it’s meant my focus has had to shift from the blog to my personal life, but that’s okay- I know I can get back on it come September, when I’m back at university and I can set my own routine and manage my own time without any other considerations.
I’d love to have time to write blog posts that I draft, redraft and then redraft again like I would an article for a magazine- but sadly at this point in time I’ve got a lot going on and each blog post has to be a lil word vomit early in the morn on the day the post needs to be published. But that’s okay- and I’m proud I’m putting the effort in to still blog when I’ve got a lot of other things going on. I could quite easily cut blogging out from my life to make things easier, but I’m not prepared to do that – I love doing this too much!
So although this summer has brought many a highlight, blogging and personally, it’s also been a tricky few months. We all deal with things from time to time, though, and it’s our challenges which are the making of us! Here’s to a very very happy end of summer for everyone!