The Benefits of being a Blogger

Today I took full advantage of being a blogger and able to work wherever I want and spent the day with my friend so that we could catch up. (In between her doing housework and getting her youngest from nursery I was able to work from the comfort of her sofa!).

We decided to fill her paddling pool up for the kids to go in after school and cool off, and to treat them all to a takeaway pizza and chips.

I’ve not felt so relaxed in ages, I really enjoyed watching Dinky play with her children. His confidence has come on so much. When my friend and I first met he would be too anxious to join in with their games and would nervously be tugging on me to either go home or for me to have to be by his side.

But today, he proved how much he has come along by happily joining in with their play and literally only coming to me for food and drinks. As you can see, they had a great time!


Nothing makes me happier than seeing a Dinky enjoying himself. For years we really struggled with his interaction and now he seems to have conquered that. I’m one happy Mumma indeed.

So, to sum up my day, I managed to:
1. Catch up with a great friend of mine.

2. Enjoy watching Dinky play and interact with other children.

3. Work from where and when I felt like it.

I’m totally getting used to this whole being your own boss thing!

How can you become a full-time blogger?

If you want to know how you can be your own boss, check out my post here on How to become a full-time blogger. I’ve also got a great giveaway ending 30/06 there too, so head over and enter!

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Are you one of the FEW? Female Entrepreneur Week

I am super proud to be taking part in this year’s Female Entrepreneur Week (FEW).

I’m going to tell you a little bit about what FEW is, and how you can get involved!

My Story

Not so long ago I was working 34 hours in a Doctors surgery as a medical administrator. The money was fabulous, my colleagues were lovely but I had a problem. Childcare was really hard to find when it came to half-term and summer holidays. I asked my bosses if I could reduce my hours and unfortunately they couldn’t offer me that position. So I had a decision to make. Do I find another job that can work around the school terms, or do I make the leap and become self-employed?

I’ve been blogging now for around three years, and most recently I’ve been enjoying it more and more, building up my network, writing my posts and actually beginning to earn money from blogging. I thought long and hard about the decision I needed to make. Would I want to be stuck in another job that ultimately could get me into the same position that I was already in? Absolutely not.

Do I want a job where I can choose my own hours, write about what I love and still manage to be at home for Dinky? Of course!

There was my answer right there. I handed in my months notice and that month flew by. The 5th of June arrived and I was now self-employed. It was a scary thought but I got right to it by applying to tons of writing work, some being freelance writing through Upwork, and some were writing for my blog.

So what have I achieved so far?

What an absolutely fabulous surprise I’ve had! In just over a week I’ve managed to land myself a column on Soapbox, I’m now writing regularly for two clients on Upwork, and I’ve been given this amazing opportunity to spread the word for Female Entrepreneur Week!

Of course, I would love to take on more work, and I’m still applying every day, but I think in one week, to have made this much progress isn’t bad at all!

If you’re interested in starting your own blog, check out my post – How you can give up your 9-5 and become and full-time blogger – I also have a fabulous giveaway for bloggers there too!

A few special shout outs

I wouldn’t have been able to make this leap if a few people hadn’t either pushed me to do it or given me tons of inspiration on the way.

Zara from Mojo Blogs – this woman has been my absolute rock through all of this. We’ve been friends for almost 6 years (!) now, we’ve met up a few times and had a brilliant day every time. She has been dealing with my crazy panicked texts, giving me advice, tips on how to improve certain aspects of my blog and in general just being an absolutely fabulous friend. Love love xx

Rachel from Coffee, Cake, Kids – I was lucky enough to meet this lovely lady at Blog Camp 2015 and since then she’s helped me build my blog by passing on my name to potential clients, reading my blog and giving me support. Thank you xx

Katie from The Perfect Juggler – I’ve only recently met Katie, but we’re at the same level with our blogs. Her blog is lovely and she’s given me support since starting this journey. We seem to have tons in common and I wish her all of the best with everything, and hopefully, you can make this jump soon! xx

Aby from You Baby Me Mummy – I have this lady to thank for all of my knowledge when it comes to sharing my blog and driving traffic. Although I still have a long way to go, I know by following her tips I will get there! Her blog is fabulous, and to be fair, so is she. Thanks Aby xx

What is Female Entrepreneur Week?

Female Entrepreneur Week (FEW) is an online festival, celebrating female entrepreneurs everywhere. Not many women have the courage to take the leap and start their own business. FEW is giving us the opportunity to take part in some absolutely fabulous workshops to help us build our businesses, our brands, and our skills. This all begins on the 21st of June, so get yourself over there and sign up!

How can I sign up?

Easy peasy! Head over to Female Entrepreneur Week‘s website here to get yourself access to all of the free training and resources. It’s really that simple!

If you’ve got a business and you’re unsure how you can take it further, or you write a blog as a hobby and would like to turn it into a business then this is the place for you.

See you there?

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Miss Pork Pie’s Make Up – Collection Mulberry Burst Lipstick Review

I never used to be that interested in lipstick, but over the last few months, since I decided to buy MUA totally nude lipstick I haven’t stopped wearing it! I feel totally wrong going out without something on my lips, kind of like many of us feel if we leave the house without mascara!?

This time I decided to go for a bold colour, something that would stand out a bit more. I went for Mulberry Blast by Collection. As you can see, it’s going to make much more of a statement than my nude lippy!

Price wise I think it’s very reasonable, it cost me only £2.98 from Boots and it’s also currently in the 3 for 2 offer, the cheapest item being free. I didn’t go for that deal this time, but I certainly plan on going back to take advantage of it!

The lipstick claims to be long lasting, and I was quite dubious as I always somehow manage to wear through my lipstick all of the time. I was pleasantly surprised. It lasted about 2 hours before having to touch it up, and in that time I had eaten and drank too so I agree with the long lasting claims!

It’s a nicely textured lipstick, how you’d imagine it to be really, it glides on easily and feels nice when you rub your lips together. I did find that I had to apply it quite liberally though, as the colour didn’t hide my natural lip colour straight away.

Over all I am really happy that I bought this lipstick, and I have already gained so much use from it! For that kind of price you really can’t complain!

Has anyone else tried the Collection long lasting stay range? What did you think?

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Big news in the Miss Pork Pie Household!

I am super excited to be able to share with you all the news that I have taken the leap and decided to become a full-time blogger! It’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for ages, but never thought I’d achieve, at least not for a while anyway.

It all came about because I have been really struggling to find childcare for Dinky over the summer holidays. There are plenty of people that could and would help me but I just couldn’t expect them to have him 5 days a week for the whole 6 week period. I really struggled to pull it together last summer holidays, and even on just the half term holidays I sometimes only just scraped it together.

So I went into work and asked if I could reduce my hours so that I’d be able to work in the afternoons when Dinky could go to my parent’s for a few hours. It seemed like the perfect plan. Unfortunately, my employers couldn’t offer me the hours I was after, so understandably I was told to keep my hours or resign. It really hit me hard, to be honest, I felt stupid because I’d assumed that everything would work out okay. Now though I was faced with a decision to either beg for childcare from my friends and family or to leave my job that I’d worked hard at for two years.

Dinky always comes first, that’s a given but if I can’t provide for him and support and earn money alongside Mr. Pie’s wage then what use is it being at home? So that’s where I decided to jump in feet first and become a full-time blogger. I’ve been blogging as a hobby for three years now and more recently than not my views have started rocketing, and I’ve been offered work from various brands. I’ve had to turn a few away because of working full time but I know that once I’m at it full time I can take on so much more.

I have also recently started taking on some freelance writing jobs for various people/companies, which I plan on continuing once I have finished my current job.

I am really looking forward to beginning this journey into becoming self-employed. I am going to be doing vlogs on mental health, beauty, and parenting. I also have many other ideas in the pipeline, but for now, I’d love to hear any ideas that could help me get going or even share your stories on how you became a full-time blogger.

 

Much love xx

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Miss Pork Pie’s Make Up – MUA totally nude lipstick review

I have always found it hard to find lipstick that actually looks good on me!

I have quite plump lips naturally and I’m very aware how much they stand out on their own, never mind with lippy on! I also have very red skin due to my psoriasis so I don’t really like wearing too much red, otherwise I end up looking like a tomato.

I managed to pick up a super sexy nude lippy last week from MUA. I went for the totally nude shade which really suits my skin colour.

Even better, it was £1.00! Who can argue at that?!

It’s fairly long lasting and glides on my lips so nicely. The coverage seems kind of thick at first but it’s such a velvety feeling on your lips that you get used to it!

I’ve worn in everyday since and felt more confident about wearing lipstick than I have ever felt.

Has anyone else got any make up bargains they’d like to share?

Much love xxx

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5 tricks you NEED to follow to successfully lose weight (and not go without your favourite foods!)

So to kick off #WeightlossWednesday I am going to share with you 5 tricks you should follow to successfully lose weight, and with the added bonus of still being able to enjoy your favourite foods!

Let’s face it we all know how to eat healthily. We all know that an apple will be better for your health than a bag of crisps, but the crisps taste better. So what if there was a way we could have best of both worlds? Well there is and I’m going to tell you how. I’ve basically taken the best and most useful bits out of every diet I’ve ever tried and popped a bit of common sense in there.

  • Drink plenty of water

This is one tip I will be pushing everyone to make sure they do. Quite often the symptoms of thirst trick the mind and body into thinking it’s hungry. So if you feel hungry, have a glass of water and wait 10 minutes. If you still feel hungry after that then it is hunger and you should eat.

Water is also the best way to keep your body hydrated, which in turn will make your skin glow, your nails longer and your hair stronger.

  • Listen to what your body wants.

When you are eating, really notice what your body is telling you. After you have established that your body is actually hungry, you need to retrain your brain and your body to realise when you’re full and need to stop eating. The best way to do this is put your cutlery down between each bite and chew slowly. Once the feeling of hunger has gone then stop eating. This may result in you eating little and often, but this is easier for your body to work off.

But remember – if you’re not sure if you’re hungry, water first, everything else comes later.

  • Everything in moderation

You’ve probably heard that a thousand times and probably hate it when someone gives you that advice but trust me, it’s the best way of losing weight and still being able to enjoy your favourite foods. Use the same principle as my last point, only eat your desired food until the feeling of hunger goes. Also remember that you should be putting nutrition into your body. Over time your body will begin to stop craving “goodies” and it will crave more of the nutrition.

Another good way of keeping things in moderation is to reward yourself for victories along your journey. For example you walked to work instead of taking the bus all week. Having one chocolate bar will not undo all of that hard work you have done to eat healthily, especially if you keep up your activity levels.

 

  • Exercise

Another thing that a lot of people don’t want to hear. People often picture exercise as countless hours in the gym on the treadmill. This is an option but exercise is any form of movement that gets your heart rate up.

As I previously mentioned, walking to work (if possible) will up your exercise massively and you will see those pounds drop off. If you’re stuck for exercising ideas I always browse Pinterest for ideas. Another site I have found inspiration from is http://www.mensfitness.com/training/workout-routines/8-at-home-workouts-to-lose-weight-and-build-muscle

  • Use your common sense.

You know that a glass of coke isn’t as good for you as water, you know a chippy dinner is worse than a grilled chicken salad. What I’m saying is use your common sense when making your meal decisions. It doesn’t mean that coke and chips are banned it just means that having them more often than not is a no go.

Here are some ideas for some healthier alternatives to junk food – https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/healthy-alternatives-for-favorite-junk-foods

If you follow these simple tricks you will lose weight.

Remember to link up to #WeightlossWednesday every week to find out how everyone has done!

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I challenge YOU to better yourself.

Who’s up for a challenge?

I’ve been a yo-yo dieter for years now. I’ve tried everything from weight watchers to slim fast, slim pod, slimming world, crash diets, boot camp and even “magic” pills.
None of these worked for me because I felt like I couldn’t eat certain things. After a few days or weeks of eating like a rabbit I would give in and binge out on crap.

I’ve been feeling like I’m always going to be overweight, and for a while I’ve not really cared too much until recently when I saw some photos of myself at a family get together. I felt sick looking at how bad I’ve let myself down. I’m don’t just look big, I look unhealthy.

So the challenge…

I challenge anyone out there that wants to lose weight or improve their health to join me. I will be doing weekly posts to share my success and I’m inviting you to all leave your links so myself and everyone else can read your blogs. We can all encourage eachother.

Here are the 5 tricks you NEED to follow to successfully lose weight (and not go without your favourite foods!)
I run a Twitter account that I plan on sharing the best tips and tricks, and also motivation for all of us! Follow me over at www.twitter.com/missporkpie

I also run a Facebook group over at www.facebook.com/missporkpie – come along and join me in improving your health!

I am going to be using the hashtag #WeightlossWednesday – I hope you will all join me!

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£10 Debenhams Gift Card Giveaway!

I am super excited to be able to finally run my first ever giveaway!

So im just about to launch a new section of my blog that will be dedicated to fashion and “what I wore”. I thought that a great way to kick it off would be to give away a gift card for one of my lovely readers! The more you enter, the more chance you have to win!

£10 Debenhams Gift Card Give Away

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Giveaway ends on the 03/04/2017 and I will contact the winner to arrange postage. Good luck everyone!

 

Much love xxx

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How To Cope With Anxiety

I’m just going to put it bluntly, anxiety is shit. I have dealt with it daily for over 10 years. Most of the time it isn’t bad enough to rule over my day, but those days/nights where my anxiety is so intense that I can barely catch my breath are awful. I had my first one of those creep up on me after months of nothing last night. I got through it in an unusual way, so I’ve decided to compile a list of quick fixes and long term treatments you can do if you’re struggling with your anxiety!
Quick Fixes

  • Distraction

I always find that the first trick I turn to when I feel anxious is to distract myself, whether that be on my phone, a game, putting the TV on or simply going for a walk. Sometimes that is literally all you will need. A distraction long enough to make you forget about what you were anxious about in the first place. Often I’m not even sure why I feel anxious or what thought triggered my feelings, so I find doing something different will change my train of thought.

  • Shout it out

Sometimes I find that I mistake frustration for anxiety, or even that my frustration and stresses create the anxiety. If this is something you feel happens to you then my suggestion is to just let it out.

– Go and find a quiet place and shout out your frustration. 

– Maybe nominate a friend that you can call and just rant to (offer the same back to them for if they ever need it, of course)

– Crying always helps. Don’t be ashamed or too proud to cry. Of course if you feel like crying or you do cry very often, then what you’re feeling may not just be anxiety, so please visit your doctor (see long term treatment for more information)

Basically any way to let out some emotion will help. This is a tip I have picked up very recently and it works very quickly for me. It releases pent up stress that’s boiling inside and you will feel better and fast.

  • Talk it out with someone you trust

I know it may feel hard to talk about how you’re feeling, and it’s difficult to even know where to begin but talking it out with someone I trust helps me feel like I’m not so alone. Even if the person I have told doesn’t have anxiety themself, at least they understand why I’m acting a little strange or why I’m more fidgety than normal. Also, you will be pleasantly surprised how understanding most people are.

So if you feel like you can talk to someone about it then do it, it will help!

  • Deep breathing

This trick is probably the oldest one in the book, but it’s a tried, tested and true way of alleviating anxiety symptoms. Simply sit up straight and breathe 8 seconds in through your nose and 5 seconds out through your mouth. Carry this on until you feel calm again.

  • Keep your feet on the ground.

I often find that when I’m feeling anxious my head spins and I almost feel like I’m not in my own body any more. Putting at least one foot on the ground helps your body regain balance and work out where you are. This technique is called “grounding” and is also used for people who are suffering with symptoms of vertigo.

  • Ride it out.

A few years ago a therapist told me something that I’ve always tried to remember when I’m feeling anxious. What goes up must come down. This means that your anxiety will only get so high and then it will slowly drop and go away. If you’re able to ride it out, then ride it out because I promise you, every time after that it will get easier.
Long term treatments

  • Change what you put in your body

    In every way possible, look after yourself! Eat as healthily as you can. Being overweight and eating the wrong food can often give you symptoms that mimic anxiety, which would in turn make you worse. Cut out alcohol (or cut down at least). Quit smoking, not just for your anxiety but for your general health too.

    • Exercise

    As I mentioned earlier, sometimes a walk can distract you from a panic attack. Not only that, exercise releases endorphins which make you feel happy. Also, of course exercising will keep you fit and healthy.

    • Talk to your GP

    For a very long time I’d avoid speaking to my GP about my anxiety because I was worried that they would just shove me onto medication and I didn’t want to take anything. After now working in a GP surgery and seeing and speaking to my colleagues about anxiety I have learnt that there are so many different ways of treating/dealing with it. You can:

    – Get your Doctor to refer you for CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy)

    – Your GP can also help advise and monitor your lifestyle, ask what help is available.

    – Your GP can also recommend self help websites.

    – Medication. I used to have this massive stigma in my mind about taking medication for my anxiety. I was convinced I didn’t need it and that they just cover up the problem rather than solving it and I didn’t want that. I do now fully support medication for anxiety because once I had heard and seen how it helps people, I knew I needed to try it. 

    It was hand on heart the best decision I have ever made regarding my health. The Doctor explained that it resets the chemical levels in your brain that cause you to feel the way you do. I’ve now been on medication for 6 months and I’m happier than I’ve been in years. My anxiety still creeps up on me, but nothing like it used to.

    There are many different types that the Doctor can prescribe you, so go and speak to your GP.

    Also, don’t forget to…

    I really hope that my tips can help someone. I know only too well how horrible it is crawling through the internet trying to find help. Do you have anything else that you do when you’re anxious? I’d love to know!

    Much love xxx

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    Dinky got glasses!

    Last year at parents evening, Dinky’s teacher recommended that we take him to get his eyes tested as she had noticed his depth perception was off. She also pointed out that he has got a bit of a squint in his left eye.

    Suddenly all of Dinky’s falls, bumps and spillage made more sense. I thought he may have just been a bit of a clumsy child (I know that I certainly was!).

    So I took him to see an optician who immediately referred him to see an opthalmologist at the hospital, where they would dilate his eyes to make sure they can diagnose and treat accurately.

    I’ve got to be fair to my boy, he was an absolute angel when they administered the drops. He sat nicely by me in the waiting room and didn’t complain even once.

    The opthalmologist confirmed that the squint in his left eye was the reason for his depth perception troubles and probably the majority of any bumps and falls. We were advised that if the glasses don’t correct the squint then he may need a patch over the good eye. She wrote a prescription to take to an optician and away we went.

    As you can see, Dinky is thrilled to have glasses like Mummy and Daddy do! I’m so proud of how brave he was during the whole procedure, as he gets frightened with the new and unknown. 

    Hopefully these glasses can correct his squint and he can continue amazing me like he always does!

    Does anyone else’s child/children have a squint? Or even yourself? I’d love to hear and read your stories! Leave links in the comment section!
    Much love xx

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