Love Your Body: Live Your Life by Shopaholic Adventures (Guest Post) 

“The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd, you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom.”

– Osho

Fashion is something I’ve always been passionate about, but it wasn’t always an easy hobby to have as a chubby girl in school and college, with limited options to wear to hide my fat.  I never had the confidence to fit into the kind of clothes my friends wore, this was the biggest beauty-anxiety and insecurity, I struggled with throughout my adolescent and teen years. 

I tried my best to loose weight, from GM Diet, aerobics, yoga (inspired by weightloss journey of Kareena Kapoor and religiously doing 50 surya namaskars every day), skipping meals, to diets and more diets and I would be lying if I say it dint loose, I did loose but it was a temporary weight loss and I gained back again within 2-3 months.

But the truth is, I know better – we all know better! Happiness is not a number on the scale. Happiness is from inside, its believing in you, self confidence. I learnt it the hard way after years of diets and exercise, I looked in the mirror and asked myself why I spent so much time hating my wide hips, lack of a thigh gap, thunder thighs, cellulite, stretch marks, thick knees? I asked myself, was wasting time focusing on the outside, worth being trapped in a mental prison of unhappiness on the inside?

“You get to be a beautiful, “flawed,” and perfectly imperfect human being. You can choose to go from being a victim to becoming the hero of your own life story. There is no room for failure as YOU become in charge of yourself!!”

body confidence, body positive, plus size, inspirational, fashion, blogger, Shopaholic Adventures, guest post, Living Life Our Way

From that moment on, I made an effort to focus on accepting things about myself I once considered flaws. That was the day I got the confidence to pursue my love for fashion and be a fashion blogger, try new looks and styles and wear what I like. I love to dress up and I do it, I love wearing red and hot pink, and no one can tell me to not to wear as it might make me look fat. Well I say, let it be “that’s who I am. I love myself for who and how I am, and will continue to love myself forever.”

“Your body size will fluctuate but the love you have for yourself will forever remain,

Self-love is unconditional, no rules, no criticisms,

Just over whelming LOVE!!”

body confidence, body positive, plus size, inspirational, fashion, blogger, Shopaholic Adventures, guest post, Living Life Our Way

This guest post was written by Praghti Malhotra, Co-Founder and Editor of Shopaholic Adventures You can also find her on Facebook Instagram and Pinterest.

An Interview With Jo Huey: Author of Transition (Book Blog Tour)

Jo Huey is an inspirational speaker, coach and author. She is also an adult child of an alcoholic and shares her personal story of living with an alcoholic father for 16 years and how that has impacted her adult life.

Jo shares her story for two reasons, the first is to connect with those that have been affected so they know they aren’t alone and the second to educate and inform others about this very hidden problem. Within the book, Jo shares several techniques you’ll be able to learn and use in your life if you really want the change you seek.

If you are interested in an inspirational and motivational story, then you won’t be disappointed. Her book, Transition, can be purchased through Amazon*.

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Here is my Q&A with Jo…

What process do you follow for your writing? Are you a planner or do you just let it flow? Straight to PC, or pen and paper?

I started typing in Word straight away, no pen to paper for me. I don’t think my hand would cope with that! I’m a much faster typist, so that was never in question.

I did a bit of planning in terms of topics and chapters, but it wasn’t until after I gave it to my friend to review that she suggested a different format. I started making all sorts of notes on post-its and hanging them from string but it just looked overwhelming, so I reverted back to my writing on the PC.

I broke the chapters down and then added a ‘Time to Reflect’ section after many chapters, which allowed me to explain how I saw the previous chapters in the present. This allowed me to introduce learnings and reflections which would keep the reader engaged.

Do you attend writing/author focused conferences? Which is your favourite?

No I have never attended any writing conferences or any associated events. Recently, I’ve been given details about groups on Facebook which I’ve joined so I can learn and mix with other authors.

How many manuscripts do you have that you never submitted? Will you consider approaching your publisher with them now?

I went through a number of versions with my book and I had a draft printed, but it was never published because my ex boyfriends didn’t agree with the content. I had to redo it before I could self-publish.

What one piece of advice do you wish you received before you started writing? What one piece of intended good advice, wasn’t what it seemed?

I think if someone had suggested getting the right type of person to help with the editing and creation of the book that would have been helpful. I chose someone to edit it who used to be an editor, and was used to taking content out to make it succinct. That didn’t really suit the style of my book – what I needed was someone that knew about storytelling and how to engage with the audience.

Being told to think about the structure was helpful… but also not, at the same time. If you’re new to writing it’s all a mine field and so it’s hard to know what will and won’t work.

What is your favourite thing about the whole writing process?

Once you’ve started writing a book it’s quite addictive and you can see something tangible coming together. For me, because the content was very personal, it allowed me to reflect on things that had happened, which was very interesting.

Was there a particular book that made you sit up and think ‘that’s it, I’m going to be an author too’?

I wouldn’t say a particular book but more a person. I was at a networking event I ran and a lady who attended said to me ‘Jo, you have a story, you should tell it’. That got me thinking into lots of things and that’s basically how I started the book and my business.

Who do you envisage as playing your characters if your book was ever turned into a movie?

There is no doubt in my mind that Reece Witherspoon would play me. She is someone I admire very much. Ever since watching her in ‘Legally Blonde’. I love her attitude and outlook on life and her integrity. She’s a great actress and so clever and I think she’d do a great job as she has done in other real life stories.

What do you consider is your greatest accomplishment?

My greatest accomplishment in my life has to be the transformation I’ve been through. It was one of the hardest and most fantastic things I chose to do. It’s taken courage, strength and determination but it has been worth the investment. My life has changed dramatically and ultimately I’m a more fulfilled, happier and calmer person because of it.

Thank you Jo, for the interview.

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*Amazon affiliate link

Reality Rehab by Lisa Mary London – Book Blog Tour

The following is a guest post by Lisa Mary London as part of her Reality Rehab blog tour.

Gloria’s Guilty Addictions

Buxom soap legend Gloria Grayson is headline news again, thanks to her starring role on TV’s biggest reality show, ‘Reality Rehab’ where she’s fighting the flab in front of 10 million viewers.  

And her memoirs of the same name are flying off the bookshelves – adding the title of Author to her impressive resume of achievements!  In a world exclusive, Gloria reveals the personalities and pleasures she can’t live without.

Lipstick

When it comes to make-up more is more, and I’ve often been likened to Marilyn – Manson that is, not Monroe.  I didn’t become Britain’s sexiest soap icon without sporting more slap than Ronald McDonald.  Which reminds me, is it lunch time?

I’m currently starring on reality TV, but I’m not a fan of the genre.  When I started out in showbiz, becoming famous required talent and hard graft.  You had to go to stage school, tour the provinces, sleep with TV executives…  These reality oiks walk into a house full of CCTV cameras and walk out megastars!  The world’s gone mad.

As former star of Britain’s top soap ‘Jubilee Road’, I can’t get from one end of the Waitrose confectionary aisle to the other without a dozen selfie requests.  So along with my mobile, keys and emergency macaroon, I’m never without my scarlet lipstick.

That said, I’m not keen on sneaky paparazzi shots taken when I’m putting out the bins, have accidentally parked in a disabled space, or set the dog on a Sun reporter.

Baby-Girl

My pedigree Maltipoo Baby-Girl is my constant companion and something of an addiction.  It’s spooky how much we have in common:  Both well-groomed, both glamorous and both capable of eating our own weight in banoffee pie.

Baby-Girl’s in ‘Reality Rehab’ with me, on a strict diet and exercise regime.  Before rehab she’d never eaten dog food and weighed roughly the same as a snow leopard, or pop sensation Justin Bieber.

I spoil my little sausage-gobbler rotten, she has a bigger designer wardrobe than I do, and why not?  Some people bitch my Baby-Girl’s a child substitute but they’ve got it all wrong – children are dog substitutes!

Chocolate

My name’s Gloria and I’m a chocoholic.  I could claim I’m devoted to the posh stuff but where cocoa’s concerned, I’m a total tart.  KitKat, Twix, Crunchie, Mars Bars, Snickers… and that’s before I’ve got out of bed!

An unkind lady journalist recently pointed out my curves are a little more generous these days.  Rather ironic, as the tabloid reporter in question was a 16 stone cake monster with a backside that could fill the O2 Arena!

I knew I’s gained weight when my masseuse asked if she could do the other leg next week, and I couldn’t find a Slanket to fit me.  As the saying goes – Life’s a bitch and then you diet!

Perfume

As two times holder of the ‘Rear of the Year’ title, the public could be forgiven for thinking my love life’s as peachy as my rear end.  

No way!  I endured a hellish marriage to alcoholic love rat actor ‘Mad’ Tommy Mack, which was no picnic (Ooh, Picnic bars, I love those!)  If you’ve ever opened a newspaper, you’ll know my ex-husband’s so bad, he should have a bounty on his head.  But that’s another topic (Bounty… Topic… I’m ravenous and I’ve only just had lunch).

We split acrimoniously, over his affair with a certain dyed redhead actress who shall remain nameless.  Oh alright then, Lianna Lowe. I came home one night and found an unfamiliar, budget brand G-string in our bed (Size 16, since you ask).

When your love life stinks, a spray of Chanel No 5 is like a breath of fresh air.

My Diary

I never travel without my diary, as Oscar Wilde famously said, one should always have something sensational to read on the train. And my memoirs are so juicy, they inspired my fabulous new book, Reality Rehab.  

It’s chock full of celebrity gossip and my glamorous pooch Baby-Girl is the cover star, in red bandana and matching designer shades.  Another of my addictions is animal print, and I designed the fabulous pink leopard cover myself. What better handbag accessory could a girl treat herself to than a copy of Reality Rehab – and all for the price of coffee and a cupcake!  Which reminds me, it’s time for my elevenses – Must dash! X

A Quick Cuppa With… The Opinionated Dad

Hi all, how are you? How has your week been? What are your plans for this weekend? Well, as it’s Friday and time to wind down, grab yourself a brew (I know, I know, most of my readers are assuming at this time on a Friday evening that must be a typo for wine or pint, or possibly even cocktail… 😉 lol) Anyway, get whatever takes your fancy and ‘meet’ The Opinionated Dad

A Quick Cuppa With, The Opinionated Dad, blogger, interview, Living Life Our Way, guest series, Q and A

Tell me about yourself…

I am a 29 almost 30 year old dad and husband. I am quite a shy person if I am face to face. I think that’s why I enjoy blogging as I don’t have the face to face interaction. I think I am a good dad and husband. I do try my hardest. I am domesticated, knowing how to use the washing machine and dishwasher in our house is essential. At the moment I am a full time stay at home dad and carer to my wonderful wife.

Tell me about your blog. What inspired you to start it? Are you really as opinionated as the name suggests?!

I started my blog as a way of helping with communication issues I have. I’m not a big talker but I can talk better from behind a keyboard. I am opinionated but it’s mainly just in my head. I don’t think the world is ready for it to come out yet. I just thought that I would use the term opinionated as I have a lot of opinions on everything. One inspiration was reading what the Unmumsy Mum writes, I know I’m nothing like her but thought I would share some of my mind with the world.

Name one random fact about yourself.

A random fact….the only thing that comes to mind is I secretly enjoy watching Disney films like ‘The Little Mermaid’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration I would have to say is my wife and daughter. They are my life, my world and without them i would have nothing. I try to see a post in things we do everyday either together or by just observing them. I like to write what’s on my mind and the unmumsy mum has helped me do that by not caring that others might judge what she writes.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

The best advice I had been given must be to get as much sleep as possible before our baby came. However I didn’t listen and the first few months were horrific with lack of sleep. My wife and I even stayed up in shifts to try and combat the fatigue. I must be a glutton for punishment as I am going to be doing it all over again.

Any tips for other dads? Or bloggers? Or dad bloggers?!

My biggest tip is just be yourself. Don’t overthink and let your instincts take over. That can be applied to blogging as well. When you start writing just let it flow and get the article wrote out. You can always go back and edit it if you need to.

Where is your absolute favourite place in the whole world?

I wouldn’t say I have a favourite place really as long as I am with my family I am happy. If I had to pick a location though I would have to say in bed. I love sleeping and I tend to stay up too late and end up getting on average 4-6hrs sleep a night and sometimes I just want to sleep in.

How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

In my free time I like to just chill out on the sofa with a strong coffee in my hand, a good TV show on and cuddles with my wife. That is when I’m not blogging mind.

What are your favourite family activities?

My favourite family activity has to be going to soft play. Not for my daughter, just so I can jump around and act a fool in there. I am almost 30 and the bigest kid at heart.

Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

My favourite outdoor place would be the park just round the corner. Sophia loves the park and always asks to go. She enjoys the slide and swings. I have a go on them everytime we go too.

Find more about his adventures here…

Blog: www.theopinionateddad.co.uk

Facebook: The Opinionated Dad

Twitter: @opinionateddad


Instagram: theopinionateddad

A Quick Cuppa With… Mumma and Co

Hi everyone!

I’m back for a quick cuppa with fellow blogger Laura! So grab yourself a brew and read all about her lovely family of six below…

Living Life Our Way, blogger, interview, Q and A, guest post, A Quick Cuppa With, Mumma and CoIntroduction

My name is Laura, I’m 24 and a mother to two children – Alfie, 7 and Holly who is almost 12 months old. We are a family of 6 including my fiance and his two boys. We live in the south coast and enjoy long walks, adventures and beating each other on Sonic racing. (I always win, of course.)

Living Life Our Way, blogger, interview, Q and A, guest post, A Quick Cuppa With, Mumma and Co

Tell me about your blog. What is the main theme? What inspired you to start it?

My blog is a motherhood, parenting and lifestyle blog. I mainly cover things which are parenting based, my own experiences and I try to use as much helpful information as I can to help others. I did try to make it more of a ‘crafty’ blog, but I am absolutely awful at crafts, so I guess my dream to become a cool, Pinterest mum will never work out! I wanted to start a blog years ago but never got round to actually starting one. I did finally start up my blog in summer last year, and it’s the best decision I made!

Do you blog full time or do you work as well? How do you juggle your time? Any tips?

I’d say I blog part time, for now. I do have my current job and I work there 3 days a week. I find it really hard trying to juggle my time, with two kids, work and household chores! The only tips which I would give would be to try and figure out how you’re able to manage your time wisely. The only time I am able to sit down at the laptop with a cup of tea when Alfie is at school and Holly is napping, or in the evening when they’re both in bed. It’s good to keep yourself in a strict routine so you don’t fall behind.

Name one random fact about yourself.

My blood type changes in pregnancy!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

I don’t actually have one! I mean, I guess I have a girl crush on Selena Gomez.. can she be my inspiration? Haha!

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Probably “sleep when the baby sleeps” is the best piece of advice I’ve ever received! After having Holly, my house was an absolute bomb site, but I’m so glad I slept whenever I could. I didn’t spend any time worrying about the state of my house & I felt so much better for it.

Where is your absolute favourite place in the whole world?

Probably Ireland, my mum and sted-dad immigrated there two years ago and I love going there to visit! Everyone is so friendly, it’s peaceful and some of the scenaries are incredible.

How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

I like to relax when the kids are in bed by getting into my pyjamas, grabbing a glass of wine, putting a face mask on and watching a film! Ah, bliss.

What are your favourite family activities?

Our favourite activities are probably playing football at the park! (me vs. 4 boys doesn’t always go down well).

Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

My favourite outdoor place to visit is probably Lulworth Cove, we walk from there all the way to Durdle Door! Despite me almost having an asthma attack half way, it really is a lovely day out, especially when the sun is shining!

Find out more about Mumma and Co’s adventures here:
Blog: 
mummaandco.co.uk
Facebook: 
Mumma & Co
Twitter: 
@_mummaandco
Instagram: @_mummaandco

A Quick Cuppa With… Eco Fluffy Mama

Today my guest is the absolutely lovely Tamsin. She is a fellow blogger who writes about green living, eco products and aiming for a zero waste. She is truly inspirational. Read on to find out some of her top tips…

A Quick Cuppa With, Eco Fluffy Mama, interview, Q and A, guest post, green living, zero waste, Living Life Our Way

Introduction

My name is Tamsin, I’m 29 and I live in Suffolk with my son and fiance. I used to work in the motorcycle industry, but sadly lost my job in 2011 before having my son in 2012. Before my son was born, I was really into power lifting but unfortunately had to give that up when my health declined suddenly. I suffer from multiple chronic health conditions and at times I find things hard. But lucky for me I have a supportive family and the most wonderful readers who constantly spur me on.

Name one random fact about yourself.

I hold a full motorcycle license.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Amanda Tapping

Tell me about your blog. Have you always been passionate about green living and working toward zero waste? What inspired you to start the blog?

I’ve always been interested in natural skincare and holistic healing. But it wasn’t until I was pregnant with my son that I found out about cloth nappies, which opened my eyes to green living. I had no idea how truly wasteful our society is. Like many others, I never truly understood that there is no such thing as ‘away’, and that rubbish is a huge problem. After discovering cloth nappies, I kind of fell into the world of green living and have progressed towards a zero waste lifestyle (although I am absolutely not perfect or 100% zero waste! – I am still making progress, too!)


I started the blog as a diary of sorts for my working out and talking about my experience as a first time Mum. I wrote about cloth nappies and babywearing as it was something that I really wanted more people to know about. From there I expanded my topics to include reusable menstrual products. It’s what really what launched my blog from a little space of internet for waffling, to a trusted site for others also seeking information on living a greener life.

What is the best piece of advice you would give someone just starting out on their journey to zero waste?

Don’t panic and remember to start small. It’s all too easy to find out about zero waste, then realise about how wasteful society is and feel like we need to make loads of changes immediately. You will end up overwhelmed, stressed out and feeling defeated.

So my advice is to make a couple of changes at a time. Start with analysing your rubbish and work out what it is you’re throwing way – from there you can easily work out simple solutions. Also, invest in reusable bags and drinks bottles. You’ll make quite a big impact by just refusing single use plastic bags and drinks bottles.


Remember, it’s not all or nothing. Do as much as you are able.

How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

I am a really keen amateur photographer, so I enjoy taking photos whenever possible. I also really enjoy reading and crochet. For me, crochet is a great stress reliever and I have found it has helped my mental health a lot.

Since Living Life Our Way is a family lifestyle blog, I’d love to hear more about yours…

What are your favourite family activities?

As a family, we really enjoy going on adventures (As my 4yo puts it). We pack a lunch, go for a walk and just enjoy the beautiful countryside.

Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

Clare County Castle – it’s in a little village and has a big hill with the ruins of the old Clare castle. There’s also an old railway and a park, too. It’s just a lovely area to visit.

Best family day out?

Gosh, tough question. I couldn’t possibly pin point one as I struggle to get out due to my health. So every time we’re out as a family is special to me. Especially the simple things like watching the sun set from our garden and the deer walking up past out back garden. Our place backs onto a field and all you can see for miles is fields and forests.

Find lots of useful advice, support and info on green living from Tamsin here:

Blog: www.ecofluffymama.com

Twitter: @EcoFluffyMama

Facebook: facebook.com/ecofluffymama

Insta: instagram.com/ecofluffymama/

This is the final Q&A in this series for now, but I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have… and do keep your eye out, as it might well make a return sometime! 

Imposters In Paradise by Maxine Barry – Blog Tour 

About the book

This standalone, gripping romantic adventure is the first in the Romantic, Passionate, Thrilling Escapes series. Fast-paced plots with strong heroines, sexy heroes and sinister villains in exotic locations – they’re the perfect escape!

Click here to purchase via Amazon.

Imposters in Paradise, Maxine Barry, book, author, blog tour, guest post

Guest post by Maxine Barry

The first book you ever have published is always special, and I remember it well and to this day. My agent had already told me that my debut romance had been given good reviews by the publisher’s Readers and would be up for consideration for publication at a specific meeting. And that she confidently expected good news. So I went out and brought a bottle of champagne (the first time I’d ever done so) in anticipation and waited all afternoon (the meeting was for 3.00pm) for the telephone to ring. They never said so, but my poor long-suffering Mum and Dad must have been fed up with my treading a line in the carpet. And when I finally got the call and learned that I really was going to be a published author, the feeling was utterly wonderful and amazing – and something that can never be repeated. It meant that all the years of hard work, hoping, trying, failing, and trying again had finally paid off, and that my stubborn self-belief and refusal to give up had finally been vindicated. And I could at last call myself an ‘author’. I then poured out two glasses of champagne for my parents, and a glass of white grape juice for myself (I’ve always been teetotal) and spent the rest of the day on cloud nine.

(Not that this is relevant to my life as an author, but just in case you were wondering why I’m teetotal, it’s because, as an 11-year-old, I inadvertently gave myself a dose of ‘aversion therapy’ where alcohol is concerned. On the occasion of my big sister’s wedding, my 10-year-old cousin and I found a pack of Babycham, and sneaking it away and around the back of the village hall – where the reception was being held – promptly proceeded to down the lot. And the next morning, as you can imagine … oh my. Take it from me – suffering a hangover when you’re not really old enough to understand what a hangover is – let’s just say, from that moment on, even the scent of anything alcoholic sets off alarm bells!)

Anyway, as I was saying, you never forget your first book. And when your complimentary copies come in the post, and you get to hold your first published novel in your hand for the very first time – well, let’s just say that it is an experience I can recommend to anyone! That’s why, when people who have yet to succeed in getting their first novel published ask for my advice, I always tell them not to give up. It can take some time (for me it was nearly five years from the moment I first decided to bite the bullet and seriously try my hand at writing, until I held my first published novel in my hand) but boy is it ever worth it. And if you have the writing bug, as I do, then you are going to write stories anyway – because how can you not – regardless of whether or not they get published. So it makes sense to keep on trying. Either in finding an agent, or in submitting your manuscript to publisher after publisher. And it’s always comforting to read how other, now famous and high-flying authors, were rejected by the first 3, 4, 5 or 20 publishers that they tried!

Imposters in Paradise, Maxine Barry, book, author, blog tour, guest post

About the author

Maxine Barry lives in Oxford. She is a full-time author and also practises calligraphy. 

A Quick Cuppa With… Abi Bumbles

Today’s cuppa is with Abi, who has one foot on either side of the blogging world. Yet both feet are also in Wales, and also often on skates! Read on to find out what the heck I am talking about 😉

A Quick Cuppa With, blogger, guest post, interview, Q and A

Introduction

I’m Abi. I’m 27 and live in North Wales. Not the super pretty bit with mountains and claims of dragons, but a sort of nice, large village. I share my abode with my husband and two Jack Russells. They’re all silly and I love them to pieces, even if between them they chew too many things and get annoyed at me for forgetting to do anything around the house. You might be able to figure out which does which.

I’m a PR with marketing agency and do my damnedest to not be one of the awful ones that gets ripped to shreds in blogger groups. I’m on both sides of the blogger world so end up with some pretty good insights. But that also means that no one really wants to listen thinking I might be biased. Still, it’s enjoyable and I’ve learnt a heck of a lot from all the flipping amazing bloggers out there.

I am, unsurprisingly, a feminist and am making efforts to live a more body positive life as well. These are topics I cover on my blog a lot because the conversations matter. I try to be as open minded as I possibly can, but hate for the sake of it is not something I can abide.

I’m also a bit tattooed because I think they’re super pretty. I’m starting on a half sleeve in February which I am excited and terrified about. I also blog about tattoos a lot because I find them fascinating and I think the more information available, the better..

Name one random fact about yourself.

I play a sport called Roller Derby, for a team imaginatively named North Wales Roller Derby. For those that don’t know, and that’s most people, it’s played on roller skates, on an ovaloid track, it’s full-contact, and no, you cannot elbow people in the face. It’s one of the most inclusive sports I have ever comes across, with women (and men) of every shape and size you can imagine coming together to make a team. There really is a place in the game for every shape of person, from super petite size 2s to big women who want to throw their incredible hips around.


I started playing at 23 and I couldn’t skate at all, could barely stand, and now I’m fully in the sport – on a team and learning to ref. If you’re up for the challenge and aren’t afraid to fall over then it’s the best thing you could get involved with.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

This is a hard question. I guess in recent years, my other half has had a massive impact on my life. We went through some tough stuff a year and a half ago which tested us to our limits and beyond. But we got through it. We survived and I can’t help but be inspired by him. He helps me find my better side when I forget it’s there.

Tell me about your blog. What is the main theme? What inspired you to start it?

I mentioned a bit already about the sort of topics I cover. It’s a mixed bag – well and truly a lifestyle blog. I do muse upon topics somewhat and maybe tend to border on train-of-thought writing, but I enjoy that.

I attempted to do Blogmas, with no prep, and that pushed me out of my comfort zone. I wrote a makeup review, stuff on days out, and even a film review or two. I failed Blogmas after 13 days, but I wrote a post about that too – silver linings and all that.

I’ve been sporadically blogging for the past few years but never managed to stick at it more than a few weeks, each time forgetting how much work it is. But I began my PR job in August last year and began blogging in earnest. I spent hours researching bloggers and matching them to campaigns, chatting to them, editing with them – the whole shebang. I realised that I loved it. I’ve always enjoyed writing and seeing behind the scenes made me realise I could do it. Thank you blogging world!

Do you blog full time or do you work as well? How do you juggle your time? Any tips?

I work full-time so my compromise with myself is to post a minimum of once a week. It’s about all I am willing to dedicate to it at the moment. I’ve tried to do it more in the past but failed because it started to feel like a job. While it’s be great to get the the point of earning from my blog it is primarily a hobby.


My advice, leading on from that, is – as fun as it is to throw yourself into blogging, make sure you keep the enjoyment. If posting once a week is all you can do without going mad – so be it. If writing about hair colour is what gets you going – do that. There are no hard and fast rules, so make your own.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to fellow bloggers?

I’ll put my PR hat on here and give some advice I’m dying to say but always hold back on – if you can’t do a post you’ve agreed to, tell them. Don’t ignore emails, or make up whatever excuse, or even ghost us (yes, it’s happened), be straight up and cancel on us. That way a PR can find someone else and not bother you for a month about something you don’t want to do. When a blogger does cancel, I’m not heartbroken and I don’t resent them. I’m actually really likely to use them again for a different topic – I trust them because they were professional. But when I’m put in a position to chase and pester, I probably won’t because I don’t have time and don’t want to peeve people off.


I always say that I’m willing to help in anyway I can, and I mean it. My job isn’t to yell at you until you do something, it’s have a professional relationship we both benefit from. Bloggers and PRs both need the other, so let’s be pals.

How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

I pretty much like being sedentary when I have free time. And eating. Telly, lying down and eating. I suppose this is where I should say more about my love of blogging and roller derby, but I’m going to go with laziness instead.

Since Living Life Our Way is a family lifestyle blog, I’d love to hear more about yours…


What are your favourite family activities?

My family consists of two hyper dogs and big, slightly clumsy, man, so our favourite things to do together are play fight and take long walks. I guess that works for kids too if they’re particularly feisty.

Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

My grandparents live along a canal just down from the World Heritage site The Froncysyllte Aqueduct. I also used to work on one of the boats doing tourist trips across it and when I visit still like to go for a wander along it. Despite knowing it so well I love walking across it – the views are amazing all year round and there’s always the fun of people terrified of the heights.

Best family day out?

I don’t know if I’m qualified for this question but I am very eager to try Bounce Below. It’s an old mining cave that has been turned into a multi-level trampoline park. It’s beautiful and fun and scary – what kid wouldn’t love that?

Thank you for taking part!

Read more from Abi here:

Blog: www.abibumbles.com

Facebook: facebook.com/abibumbles

Twitter: @AbiBumbles


Bloglovin: abi-bumbles-18188781

A Quick Cuppa With… Hansla 

Today’s cuppa is with 20 year old Hannah. She is a student studying medicine, and is a massive formula one fan! And you can find my Q&A answers over on her blog now too – thank you Hannah for having me over!

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Introduction

I’m Hannah and I’m 20 years old from Yorkshire in England. I’m currently living in London while I’m studying Medicine at University College London. I love my family, animals (growing up on a farm will do that!), books and most of all, babies!

A Quick Cuppa With, Hansla, blogger, guest post, interview, Q and A, Living Life Our Way

Name one random fact about yourself.

I’m a massive, obsessed Formula One FAN!

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Jenson Button is a massive idol for me. He’s a Formula One driver and he’s been through so much. When I read his autobiography of his 2009 winning championship season I saw how much strength he had behind the scenes to even secure a drive for the season, let alone a win.


The past few years, his courage dealing with his father’s death in such a public way has been awe inspiring and then in addition to that, his simple positivity while driving a non-competitive car has shown his commitment and dedication to his career and passion. I hope I can only continue to apply the same to my own life and career.

Tell me about your blog. What is the main theme? What inspired you to start it?

My blog is simply about me. I started writing 2 blogs originally, one more public and one more personal (diary entry like). It began as something to document my life but over time I fell in love with sharing my thoughts and ideas and I liked to hear back from other people.


Now, it’s a whole array of topics including reviews (products, movies, TV shows, books, hauls, recipes, DIYs and my personal favourite, my Thursday Thoughts Series. I also include behind-the-scenes of my youTube channel vlogs. Anything and everything; a lifestyle and beauty blog all rolled into one!

Do you blog full time or do you work as well? How do you juggle your time? Any tips?

I blog part time but I don’t make any money out of it. I’m pretty busy with university study on a packed course so it’s defintely hard to juggle my time but I just write what I want, when I want to. I think that’s key. At the moment, it’s a hobby and when it stops being fun, I’ll stop writing.

What is the best piece of advice you can give to fellow bloggers?

Everyone has a different opinion on everything but don’t let others change the way you think.

How do you relax/ spend your ‘free time’?

I love hanging out with family and friends. My favourite activities are bowling, eating out and going to the cinema…all in one day if possible! Usually, I have some downtown before bed and I either spend it catching up on TV, watching a film or reading a book – if I haven’t already exhausted my brain that day!

What are your favourite family activities?

I think being so close to my family, everything can be a family activity. I think my favourite is probably when we play a board game. Yes it usually ends in fights and arguments but that’s where we make the memories.

Where is your favourite outdoor place to visit?

Oh gosh…my favourite place is the Sky Gardens in London which is like an outdoor place but inside. I’m not really a fan of the cold so it’s hard to pick in England but I defintely enjoyed the Yorkshire Sculpture park that I recently went to with my father and of course, every year I’ve been to the Great Yorkshire Show which I LOVE!

A Quick Cuppa With, Hansla, blogger, guest post, interview, Q and A, Living Life Our Way
Yorkshire sculpture park

Best family day out?

I feel like I’ll have more of an idea of this when I have my own family and I honestly can’t wait until I have children of my own. I’ve loved seeing my niece grow up in the 4 short years of her life and I can’t wait to see her little sibling (due June!) growing up right alongside her. I loved when we went to the zoo because she was in awe of the animals and seeing that joy is amazing.

Thank you so much for the opportunity to write in this series. It was so fun to read some of the previous bloggers answers! I would love if you came to visit me on any of my own social media! I hope you all have a great day 🙂

Find Hannah here….

Blog: hansla1000.blogspot.co.uk

Instagram: instagram.com/hansla1000/

Twitter: @hansla1000


YouTube: youtube.com/user/hansla1000

Drive-By Shouting by Mark Chase – Blog Tour

About the Book

When Matt Mann grabbed showbiz success by the throat, he also trampled on the dreams of Gram Kane, his closest friend. Matt has ridden the gravy train for seven heady years, while successfully keeping a lid on his old friend’s resentment. That is; until now.
Matt’s moral vacuum has now seen him betray yet another friend – but this time, it’s one who has the power to ruthlessly punish him, and take away everything that he’s achieved. 

Drive-By Shouting is an exhilarating showbiz ride, with a bitter comic edge and a palpable undercurrent of malevolence.

Mark Chase, Drive-By Shouting, book, guest post, author, interview, Q and A, blog tour

Author Q & A

What is the first book you remember reading or having read to you?

The Oxford English Dictionary! I lived with my maternal Grandmother – and she was a stickler for finding out what words meant, whenever they cropped up. She came from a pretty humble background in South Wales – but know that good grammar and a decent vocabulary could carry you a long way.

Who is your favourite literary character?

Logan Mountstuart in William Boyd’s ‘Any Human Heart.’ Thoroughly irreverent – and a great companion through many of the 20th Century’s great events.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve just finished Kate Atkinson’s ‘A God in Ruins,’ the companion book to ‘Life After Life.’ A wonderful read – and I’m consistently impressed by her ability to weave alternative realities together at the same time.

Who is your hero or heroine (real or fictional)?

Without wishing to be sappy; I really do think a lot of my wife; Jacqueline! She’s whip-smart when I need advice or critical analysis – but also has the kindest heart I’ve ever encountered. If it has to be somebody notable; then it’s David Bowie. At his 1970’s peak, he was lyrically and musically, just about as good as it’s possible to get.

Where are you happiest?

On the Beach in East Sussex; near Rye. Whatever the weather, I always feel glad to be alive when I’m there.

If I joined you on your perfect day, what would we be doing?

We’d wake up in a cottage on the beach in East Sussex and walk along the wet sandbanks at low tide. We’d have lunch at ‘The Globe Inn Marsh’ and a wander around Rye (an amazingly beautiful medieval town), before taking the train to London for a Blues/Jazz gig at Ronnie Scott’s, followed by coffee at Café Italia – and a late night walk down the South Bank. We’d be a bit knackered; but happy!

What do you think is the best thing about social media?

It gives you a great sense of community. It’s like being able to pop into 6 different pubs simultaneously; each with a different group of friends in it.

Why did you write a book?

I have known that I would write for a long time. I was a songwriter for quite a few years, where brevity is the key. I liked the idea of turning that discipline on it’s head – and stretching and exploring ideas, rather than reducing them down to their pithiest elements. It’s one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done. So, I’m doing it again…

Why did you choose your particular genre?

I don’t think I fit neatly into a genre (which is either a virtue or a weakness). I felt compelled to write about the music business and particularly the random nature of success in the arts, which is unlike any other area of life. You don’t see many exceptionally talented dentists struggling to make a living; but the world is awash with brilliant musicians, actors, writers and artists, all desperately trying to pay the rent. The idea of exploring this within a thriller seemed natural and instinctive.

What’s the best thing about writing a book?

The sense of adventure that you get from thinking, “I wonder what would happen if…” and then being the one who gets to decide everybody’s fate. There’s more than a hint of ‘God complex’ to it.

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About the Author

Liverpool born, Chase has been a TV Presenter on a variety of shows, including; The Survivors Guide, Sextalk (both C4), Breakfast Time, Going Live! (BBC1), Wideangle, Country File (ITV) and Toyah & Chase (VH-1). On Radio, he has hosted BBC 5Live’s After Hours and The Chase is On. Behind the scenes, he has worked as a Producer on both Comic Relief & Sport Aid and has written for several publications, including Esquire, the NME, Melody Maker, Maxim and Red.

Mark was the leader of the notorious 90’s band World of Leather, who released 2 albums and numerous singles through Sony Records. They toured extensively in the UK and Europe and sold respectably in Japan & Scandinavia, whilst skillfully avoiding the UK charts.

Prior to this, Chase had been a successful session musician & session singer, working with numerous artists including Belinda Carlisle, Taylor Dayne, Big Trouble & John Barrowman. 

He lives in East Sussex with his wife, Jacqueline, and their 4 children.

Drive- By Shouting, Mark Chase, guest post, author, interview, Q and A, blog tour, Living Life Our Way