Designing A Logo With Logojoy 

Just over a year ago I decided to go ‘pro’ with blogging, so I moved my blog to self- hosted and started to think about branding, including designing myself a logo and banner to use on my blog and across social media. Alot of bloggers and businesses hire an expert to help them do this, but I was keen to save some money so I chose to do it myself. I spent far more hours on Canva (using a free trial) than I care to admit! However, I am very happy with the result.

Living Life Our Way logo designed by Canva

Introducing Logojoy

Logojoy is an AI logo designer that makes it quicker and easier for bloggers and brands to create their own logo themselves. It is simple to use; begin by selecting up to five sample logos that you like then the site generates your logos to choose from based on your preferences. There are then plenty of options to then tweak it as much as you want to personalise it further.

How To Use Logojoy

Time

It is possible to design a professional looking logo using Logojoy in just a few minutes. However, if you are a perfectionist and enjoy playing around with the various settings (as I did!) then you will need to allow more time. You can also amend and re- download your logo too, if you decide your logo needs a few extra final adjustments after downloading it (premium package only).

Cost

Logojoy costs $20 for a simple low resolution logo. A premium package is $65 which includes high resolution files in several formats with full copyright ownership. For an extra $9 you can also purchase the social media kit, which comes with perfectly size logos for each platform – this is definitely worth it in my opinion because it saves alot of time and effort resizing! Lastly you can also get one hour professional design support for $100 too should you require that level of guidance and support. 

Logojoy logo

You can design and purchase your logo on the Logojoy website.

(This is an affiliate link, this does not cost the buyer extra, but means I get a small referral fee. Thank you for your support).

My Logo

Here is my logo…

Living Life Our Way logo designed on Logojoy.

The Verdict

I worked really hard on my original logo and have been using it for over a year, so I must admit I am actually rather attached to it! However, I am really pleased with my Logojoy logo too and am actually quite (very?!) tempted to switch it! If I was just starting out, I would definitely think Logojoy is worth the investment and would be satisfied with the results.

Which do you prefer, my original Canva logo or my new Logojoy one? I would love your honest opinions, I promise I won’t be at all offended either way!

Living Life Our Way Canva logo and Logojoy logo side by side for comparison. Which logo do you prefer?

Thank you in advance for any feedback!

*I was given the chance to review the $65 package and was compensated for my time.

Blogger Recognition Award

First of all, thank you to lovely Trupti at Girls Glamour for nominating me. Do go check out her blog, she has a variety of posts, plenty of great reading!

blogger, blogging, blog, blogger advice, blogging tips, how to begin blogging, blogger recognition award

How did my blog begin?

Well, in short, it begun as a hobby several years ago now (almost a decade infact!) when I first became a parent. I have written about the beginnings of my blog before. 

My Top Tips For New Bloggers

  • Network – join facebook groups, twitter chats, and even attend conferences/ events if possible. Put in the time and effort to connect with other bloggers. It is a great way to get support and advice, and make friends too!
  • Take it one step at a time – there are many aspects to blogging and it is likely to be far too overwhelming to take it all on at once. Focus on one area to learn about and work on, until it starts to come more naturally and slots in to your schedule/ process easily, then start on the next thing.
  • Be yourself – whether you have a specific niche or cover lots of subjects, open your heart out or are more reserved, write how you speak or more formally, stick to your own personal style and just do you!
  • Focus on social media as much as your blog – if you want people to find and read your content, you need to engage with others and actually share your blog posts so they get seen!

I now nominate the following fab bloggers:

If you would like to take part, the ‘rules’ are simple…

  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give your top tips/ advice to new bloggers.
  • Select other bloggers you think should be nominated for this award and tag them in the post. Remember to let them know they have been nominated! Don’t forget to also link back to the person who nominated you as well.

Thank you to everyone, let’s all keep supporting each other!

Feelings Of Nostalgia: Childhood Memories

I gave Squiggle my favourite childhood toy a while back. It is a cuddly toy called a Popple; I literally slept with that thing every night for years and it is now well over 30 years old. 

80s toy, childhood memories, popple, nostalgia, growing up, 80s child, 90s teen, Living Life Our Way
My Popple

She loves it and took it to music class with her. The teacher confused it with a Wuzzle, another popular toy from the early 80s, which led to alot of discussion once we got home about Wuzzles, and other childhood toys. We even did a mini project; we researched the names of all of the Wuzzles, discussed the inspiration behind their design (each is a combination of two different animals), found out which one(s) a selection of people owned and also she designed her own Wuzzle too.

Wuzzles, 80s toys, nostalgia, childhood memories, home education, freedom to learn, Living Life Our Way
Squiggle designed her own Wuzzle called HoppySeal (rabbit and seal combo)

But I am starting to digress slightly! This all sparked off so many wonderful childhood memories and made me feel really quite nostalgic! I have lots of fond childhood memories; from fun filled adventures at my Grandparents’ house on Sunday afternoons, playing with my cousins and racing around the huge gardens of their pretty bungalow, to the time we came across a stray tortoise in an alleyway and took it home until we could reunite it with its owners. 

I remember sleepovers with my cousin, top to tail in one bed, comparing (and sharing) our latest toys and making perfume from flowers to sell to neighbours! Alot of my childhood memories involve my cousins and playing at various relative’s houses. We spent much of our time doing that and I am so glad we did! 

Of course we also spent time at home and I have lots of fond memories of that too; especially playing in our garden with a makeshift swing and adventures in our little playhouse. We had a little growing patch too, I forget what we grew but I remember it was fun!

We had a variety of pets over the years from bunnies and guinea pigs, to cats and dogs, rats, mice, gerbils and hamsters, ducks and chickens, fish, snakes – our house and garden looked like a petting farm! My first pet was a rabbit called Snowy when I was 4 or 5 years old. We also had a gorgeous Cavalier King Charles Spaniel called Cindy who I particularly adored. I used to dream of owning an animal rescue centre when I grew up.

My bedroom was decorated with Care Bears wallpaper and I had a large collection of these toys. Along with the other toys I have already mentioned, these were one of my favourite collections! I found a Buzzfeed list of must- have 80s and 90s childhood toys and discovered between my brother and I, we had most of them – we were very blessed, lucky children obviously! 

As well as the more regular toys, my younger brother also used to have quite unusual hobbies and collections. One particular thing that springs to mind was a sword collection that he had displayed on his bedroom wall. I suspect it might have come from his love of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (I think they used to originally be called hero turtles? Am I right?!) But, you know, don’t tell him I shared that little snippet with you all 😉 

I have no idea where his personal ones came from but I think they looked abit similar to these ones from Swords of Northshire. I haven’t bought from here personally but they have excellent reviews and a brilliant ethos. One review states: “the customer service was outstanding (Bryce Ronquille) and the level of detail available was amazing. The sword came excellently packed and in very short amount of time. Bryce kept us informed of the progress along the way and provided pictures before shipping of the final product, which was nothing less than a work of art. The workmanship in the sword was amazing, extremely well built and detailed. I cannot wait to add more of these to my collection.” 

swords, home decor, hobby, collection, custom made sword, Swords of Northshire
Credit: Swords of Northshire

Customer service is their highest priority and their goal is to exceed expectations; they offer a variety of custom- made options, free shipping and 100% money-back guarantee if for any reason you are not satisfied (for 30 days after your purchase). These swords also have interesting origins; they are forged in Longquan, a city in China with over 2,600 years of swordmaking history. They would be quite the piece to own I’m sure!

But anyway, back to my childhood memories…

I was born in the very late 70’s (barely!) but grew up in the 80s. This means I have seen technology change and develop so much as I have grown up! When I was young I had a typewriter and I used it to write my own magazine – about dogs/ pets if I remember rightly! Not long after, when I was still quite little I got one of the early Commodore home computers. I loved it; I did lots of coding on it simply because everything had to be programmed manually. It all took hours! I also had a second generation games console (an Atari) too! Then much later, technology moved onto dial up internet connection… ah, who remembers that noise?! Of course, I didn’t own a mobile phone though until my teens – because they hadn’t been invented yet for consumer use!

Growing up, like now, music was a huge love. I would dance around my room doing karaoke; it used to annoy the heck out of my brother! I regularly watched Top Of The Pops (or was it Mini Pops?!) on the TV too and I remember bursting into tears once because someone changed the channel during my favourite song!!! Isn’t it weird what memories stick in our mind?! Above all, I remember recording the weekly top 10 countdown hits off the radio onto a cassette tape! 

So many wonderful memories… I honestly could go on forever! 

What are your favourite childhood memories? I would love to hear them!

*Diclosure: This is is a sponsored post.

New Year Resolutions

I don’t usually make any New Year Resolutions, I prefer to generally set myself goals throughout the year. I do get it; new year, new start. But do you know what? Every single day can be a fresh start. Heck… any given hour, or any single minute in fact, we can choose to change our lives in some way. Vowing to make a new start, take on new challenges and aim for new goals is something any of us can do any time we want. New year resolutions, I feel, mean we kind of put undue pressure on ourselves and build it up too much. I think that level of hype works for some but yet can be the downfall for others. 

So my own new year resolution is very simple; to build on what I started in the past year. For me personally, 2016 was a time of change and inner growth, the year I begun to rediscover me and who I really am, and to find my direction again. So this year, I aim to keep growing, developing and moving forward. 

New year resolutions, 2017, keep moving forward, goals, motivational quotes, inspiration, about me

Everyday, whatever the challenges, I remind myself of the ideas that inspire and motivate me. The things that really resonate, and help to lift me higher and to do better. Some of you might relate, whereas I suspect a few of you actually probably hate this kind of stuff! But that’s ok, we are all different. I need them, so I am sharing here as a reminder to myself as much as anything else. Here are some of the inspirational and motivational quotes/ ideas that I live by:

We all have the same 24 hours in a day. I used to think this was utter nonsense! The original quote I saw mentioned Beyonce, and I just thought “yeah right, she has a tonne of help and support around her to get things done. Everyone can achieve more with so many extra hands on deck, it’s like the equivalent of having a spare week available everyday!” But now I see I was missing the point. Maybe we can’t all be Beyonce (obviously, unfortunately!) But everybody can stay focussed, work hard, use their time effectively, do their best to overcome barriers and achieve (great) things. And as for her entourage, that brings me onto the next thing…

We can achieve more when we work together. When we collaborate with others and team up, we can achieve more and achieve it faster. Network, seek out others who share similar goals, build up a support system, ask for help, and find your tribe. And on that note, my door is always open (well my inbox is anyway!) if anyone would like us to work together on anything. I am hoping to connect with others who share similar values and collaborate more this year! 

It’s never too late to start. Alan Rickman got his first major TV part at the age of 36. Fashion designer Vera Wang didn’t design her first dress until the age of 39. At age 39, Stan Lee created his first comic. Henry Ford found success at age 40. Morgan Freeman got to 52 before he became an international star. Nelson Mandela made history when he became president of South Africa, he was aged almost 76 by that time. It is not too late. Repeat. It is never ever too late to start over, to try again, to begin something new. 

Keep moving forward. Set goals, achieve them. If it is a difficult patch, remind yourself that it doesn’t matter how slowly you go, as long as you keep going. In a year or two time, you will be glad you kept at it, even if it feels like tiny baby steps that won’t get you very far at the time. Progress is progress. Keep going. If you need to rest, then pause. But don’t give up.

See the opportunity in everything. Look for solutions, not problems. Don’t be afraid to fail. Mistakes are an opportunity to develop. Failure teaches how to do things better/ differently next time. Challenges can be overcome. Don’t let obstacles stand in your way. Attitude makes all the difference! Don’t stand in your own way.

Richard Branson ~ If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”


Balance. Know when to keep fighting, but also know when to let go. Prioritise. Word hard but take time to take care of yourself too. Life is a constant juggle, so figure out how to keep up!

………………………………………………..

So those are the philosophies that motivate me, and have helped me through 2016. There have also been a number of charities and non- profit organisations that have been truly inspirational and changed my life. 

Thank you to the following in particular: 

Turning Green 

The Wildlife Trusts 

Lonely Whale 

WhaleFest 

Ocean Unite 

Surfers Against Sewage

If any of your New Year Resolutions include green living, protecting the environment or conservation, then be sure to check them out!

What are your new years resolutions? I’d love to hear them, let me know in the comments!

Christmas Tag!

I love reading about how other families spend their Christmas and sharing abit about how we spend ours, so thank you to Bell and Bear for tagging me in this festive Q&A! Here are my answers…

What’s your favourite Christmas movie?

Love Actually. I have already watched it several times this month! I used to love Santa Claus: The Movie when I was a child. The bit where the reindeer finally does the super duper looper to save the kid always made me cry bucket loads. Every. Single. Time.

Have you ever had a white Christmas?

Not that I can remember. Perhaps when I was a child, maybe? I’m not sure.

Where do you usually spend your holiday?

At home. I have never been away for Christmas. When I was a child we used to go round to visit my grandparents on Christmas day but they were local (well, same county anyway!) But that’s the furthest I have ever been for Christmas lol!

What is your favourite Christmas song?

Merry Christmas Everybody – Slade

Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

Of course not, how could we? Santa won’t have been yet! 😉

Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

In a word… no! Erm, Rudolph obviously. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Blitzen…  How many are there? Oops, I think I just failed the parent test. Oh dear….

Which holiday traditions are you looking forward to this year?

Making our gingerbread house together on Christmas eve.

Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Fake. It’s child size, blue and decorated by an 8 year old. What could be better than that? (Do not answer that! 😂)

What is your all time favourite holiday treat/food/sweet?

I can’t think of a specific answer to this really. But I loved the vegan meal we had last night for our Christmas do, it was delicious!

Be honest, do you like giving or receiving gifts better?

Giving. Honest answer.

What is the best Christmas present you ever received?

Anything from my daughter!

What would be your dream place to visit for the holiday season?

New York would be high on my list, definitely.

Are you a pro present wrapper or do you fail miserably?

Terrible, I fail miserably. I hate it and I suck at it. Fact.

Most memorable Christmas moment?

There are lots of memorable moments! My daughter spotting ‘Santa’s sleigh’ in the sky for the first time a few years back, that was magical!

What made you realise the truth about Santa?

I have no idea what you’re talking about… 😉

What makes the holidays special for you?

Spending time with family.

Christmas, festive, Christmas Tag, about me, blogger, Q&A

So, that’s my Christmas tag answers! And I’m tagging LeeLee Loves, Mum Times Two, Adventures in Homeschool, Emma and Family, BecsterJust Average Jen and Emma Plus Three to take part too!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!

My Liebster Award Nomination! 

The Liebster Award is a virtual award given to bloggers by other bloggers as a way of spreading the blogging love. Huge thanks to Naomi over at Me Becoming Mum for nominating me. I hadn’t heard of it before, but excited to be included, thank you!

Liebster award, blogging award, bloggers, about us, living life our way

The official rules of the Liebster Award are here. Basically, Naomi has written ten questions for me to answer, plus I need to share ten random facts, then I nominate a few more fellow bloggers and write my own questions for them. (Full rules are also below, at the end of this post). So it’s a great way for bloggers to connect and get to know each other, and to welcome newbies into the blogging network. Such a lovely idea!

So here are my ten questions (and answers!)

If you were an animal, what would you be?

Maybe a cat? They are usually well loved (often totally pampered more like!) yet are fiercely independent and avid explorers. Not too many predators to contend with either, but have to be street savvy!

Who do you consider to be your idol?

Tough question! I’m not sure about ‘idol’ per se, I’m not a massive fan of that term, but there are lots of people who inspire me for one reason or another. One example of someone who comes to mind at this moment is Erin Schrode, a leading environmentalist and inspiring politician. Erin has recently attended the UN Climate Change Conference 2016, after peacefully protesting at Standing Rock. She is also the youngest ever person to run for congress. Aside from all of that, she is a major advocate for green living and co-founded Turning Green, which is an amazing non-profit organisation behind the life changing Project Green Challenge. She is truly inspirational!

Sun or Snow?

Both are equally wonderful in their own way!

Which day holds the best memory (or memories) for you?

The day my daughter was born is the first thing that springs to mind.

You’re holding a tea party, and you can pick four famous guests. Who would they be?

Oooh, erm, I would choose people who I think would be really interesting to talk with, rather than because they are famous. But I am struggling to pick four as there are loads of fascinating people I would love to meet, famous or not!

Which movie or TV character would you most like to marry?

Haha, I love this question!

What day of the week do you most look forward to?

I don’t have a favourite. Our home ed lifestyle means we have alot of freedom and can be very flexible, so generally I look forward to them all!

What was your first car? (If you don’t have one, what would your dream car be?)

It was a gold ford fiesta. I got it in the late 90’s and it was an old banger then so goodness knows what year (or decade!) it was actually made lol! It was proper old style!

You are stranded on a desert island. What five items could you not live without?

I assume we have food and water? Do we have clothes?! My daughter (although she isn’t an item obviously!) Erm, can I have my bed?! I’d want art supplies to get creative. Toilet roll haha! Ooh my phone… and a solar powered battery for it!

Tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something else?

Tea definitely. I don’t drink coffee. Or hot chocolate.

Ten Random Facts About Me

  • I don’t have a middle name.
  • I have a small scar on my forehead.
  • I really can’t drink wine, it doesn’t agree with me at all!
  • Part of my c-section stitches had to be left inside me (they were not ones that dissolve so should not be!)
  • I have a weird fear of escalators.
  • I got a 1st degree BEd.
  • I used to have a crush on Philip Schofield when he presented cupboard under the stairs (or whatever it was called!)
  • I have moved 20 times (I think, I may have lost count and missed one or two possibly!)
  • My first pet was a white rabbit called Snowy.
  • My bedtime toy as a child was an orange popple, which I still have. (It no longer sleeps with me though!)

Liebster award, blogging award, bloggers, about us, living life our way

My Nominees:

Witts in the Wild

3 Girls Mummy

Raw Childhood

MumConventional

Being Mummy

The Family Treasures

Conflab Corner

Here are your questions:

1. What or who inspires you?

2. Pick one. Dogs or cats?

3. Name your top ten all time favourite tunes.

4. Who is the one person you would most like to sit on a bench with to chat together?

5. What is your favourite hobby, way to relax or spend ‘me’ time?

6. What do you like most about yourself?

7. What is your favourite childhood memory?

8. What’s your most embarrasing moment?

9. What was your first ever job?

10. Name one thing you are grateful for today.

Remember your ten random facts too!

 

Liebster Award Rules:

Step 1: Thank the person who nominated you, and link back to their blog.

Step 2: Display the Liebster Award badge.

Step 3: Answer the ten questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.

Step 4: Provide ten random facts about yourself.

Step 5: Nominate between five and eleven fellow bloggers you believe deserve the award.

Step 6: Create a new list of questions for the nominees to answer.

Remember to tell your nominees that they have been nominated for the Liebster award, and ask them to include the rules in their post too!