Friday, 21 July 2017

Little Bright Sea - An Introduction

I seem to be getting into the habit of only posting once a week - so sorry about that! As always I have been keeping myself incredibly busy and doing too much at once. In a week where I started a new job after an extended maternity leave of 11 months, I also soft-launched my own little webstore and hardly slept because Robin is ill. So it's pretty safe to say my little brain is pretty frazzled right now. 

It seems to be the done thing now that bloggers are launching their own stores, so I guess I'm a bit behind the curve with launching my own. However, when Dannie and I designed a bag to sell in aid of women in vital need of basic healthcare over in Ireland after our government signed a deal with the DUP, I felt like I could do more. We used a website called Mercht to create our campaign, and while this was handy because we didn't need to put forward any upfront costs, it did eat into our profit, and therefore the money we could give to the charity. Never one to be deterred, I decided that as the bag had been popular, I would sell them my own way, without the restrictions of Mercht. 

My own store, which as I said before is still in soft-launch mode and therefore a bit ugly looking at the moment, is called Little Bright Sea and it's something I've been thinking about for a while. You might remember that I mentioned it a little in this post. The name is a mixture from the meanings of Dylan and Robin, and I already have a cute idea I'd like for the logo. Originally, my big plan for the store was to sell baby products that I could make at home, and this was all set to go until I managed to bag myself a full time job! Luckily for me, it's within a school, so I'm hoping I can get that some items made over the summer holidays. 



Now, I'm hoping that I can follow in the footsteps of some 'mama merch' stores I really love and admire, these include Bloody Nora PamMutha.Hood and Mere Soeur. Ideally, I want to create products that I would buy wear and use myself - so things like t-shirts, tote bags and enamel pins as well as baby friendly items like bibs and little teether toys. It's a big dream, but we've all got to start somewhere, right?

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Little Loves - Life Updates, Meetings and More!

A few weeks ago I shared my very first Little Loves, and then didn't continue on with it. Although I think Little Loves is meant to be a weekly occurrence, we all know that life gets in the way a bit, so I'm just going to keep this as a semi-regular thing. There's enough pressure in everyday life, so I like that my blog is a little higgledy-piggledy at times. I mentioned in the last LL instalment - can you call it an instalment if this is only the second one? - that I had an interview that I was pretty hopeful about, and thankfully they hired me! They called me up a few hours after my interview and I honestly couldn't believe it. I was the youngest interviewee there, and felt like the others must have had more experience or knowledge than I did, but somehow my charm and eye for detail won me the role. It really changes things immensely for us at home, and I'm pretty excited about it going forward!

Read

I am still reading I'll Eat When I'm Dead by Barbara Bourland. I feel like after my amazing reading boost a few months ago, I'm going to keep stalling with reading now. It always feels like such a luxury to sit down and read a few chapters when I should be getting on with household chores or what have you. I'm about a third of the way through, apparently, so maybe it'll only be another month or two before I finish it! 

Watched

We finally caved in and signed up to Sky tv. It's never really something I've had any interest in before, but they were doing a pretty good deal which featured the sports channels so Joe basically couldn't say no. The past week or so I've been watching the last series of Game of Thrones as I somehow missed it completely last year, and I've also been watching Broad City - yasss, queen! - and the Marvel Spiderman channel, curtesy of Dylan. 

Heard

My colleague at work likes listening to Breeze FM - I'm not sure if it's available everywhere in the UK or not - and it's basically really easy listening. It's fine, and I know most of the songs as they tend to be 80s ballads, but every now and again they throw in an Ed Sheeran song and it makes me want to pop my eardrums #sorrynotsorry. 

Made

I recently soft-launched my online store! It only has a few items at the moment, but I'm really excited to add to it, and hopefully it can become something we can run in our spare time, and a good source of income while Joe is studying in the autumn. It's called Little Bright Sea, and I'm super excited about it! 

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

My Favourite Apps!

We definitely live in a digital age, and I would be lying if I said I didn't rely heavily on my phone. As a busy mam/councillor/worker, I use my phone for keeping in touch with family or constituents, updating my calendars - yes, thats plural! - and taking photos of the boys on the go. I use it for navigation and for finding my nearest coffee spot as well as a welcome distraction when travelling long journeys. I'm definitely the type of person who will check the app store before heading to a website if I can, and I'm usually always persuaded to try out the latest life-changing app - it helps if it's free, too!


I feel like I spend half my life scrolling through my social media feeds, so you can bet your bottom dollar that Twitter and Instagram are top contenders for my favourite apps! I'm actually quite annoyed with myself on how much I use Instagram. I feel, and I think I'm not alone here, that Instagram have just stopped listening to their users, but that's a rant for another day! It's still one of the first apps I check when I wake up, which is a bit cringey to admit. My all-time favourite apps are Goodreads and Pinterest. I hardly ever use the desktop versions of these, but I love checking my reading goals and what my pals are reading on Goodreads, and then working out how to organise my bookshelves on Pinterest pretty much immediately after. 
Outside of social media, I also use apps to organise my life and to relax a bit. My newest app is Stylebook, which is basically an app version of Cher's wardrobe from Clueless. It's amazing. It's changing everything. It's showing me that I wear the same clothes day in, day out. Another good app that I use as often as possible is You Need A Budget. We use the desktop version to keep on top of our finances, so I love that when I'm out and about I can quickly update our budget without needing to be tied to the laptop. 

Carphone Warehouse completed their own research into our favourite apps, and I was completely surprised to see Facebook as number one. I seriously thought Instagram or Snapchat would be first, but I guess when half the world use Facebook it does make sense that it would come up trumps. Almost stereotypically, they found that men were more likely to check their wifi speeds or download games whereas women downloaded more 'shop' type apps. It also found that women were big fans of Goodreads, which matches what I said above. I found the research to be really interesting as you can really narrow it down from age, location and even income level! They've really put some effort into it, and it shows. 
*Disclaimer: This post was a collaboration with Carphone Warehouse. Content written by myself.
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