So unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month you will have heard people talking about something called the World Cup. Thankfully it’s all over now and we can have our men back (until the footy season starts again) but during the world cup i was made to endure a number of matches of which some were quite exciting, but after good old England were knocked out i lost a bit of interest.
The only thing that kept me watching were the rather attractive men, the silly hairstyles and the often distracting brightly coloured boots (someone call the sport fashion police)! Naturally Joe didn’t really want to discuss any of the above while the games were on so i took to the internet and discovered that Ladbrokes Bingo had created a Hot or Not game for us world cup widows to entertain ourselves with! Clicking through there are some very lovely faces (Giroud i’m looking at you) that make me think i should be more into football. Argentina and Spain are currently at the top of the world cup hottie league with Sergio Aguero getting 90.4% of people’s votes* but who’s in your dream team? …flashbacks to 90’s phone-based board games!
So the next time there’s a match on and you’re left to fend for yourself for 90 minutes, have a click around and see who’s at the top of the world cup league that really counts!
.Office Worker By Day, Blogger & Youtuber By Night.
I’m not the only one of us out there who works full time whilst running their blog and youtube channel, there’s hundreds of us and it takes one hell of a lot of dedication, motivation and hard work to keep it up.
Someone posted something on Facebook the other week about how some people only do things so they can put it on social media and for reasons unknown it rattled my cage a little. It seems to me that those who aren’t in the blogging community or social media game just don’t realise how much work goes into running a blog or a youtube channel or sometimes don’t even understand why we do it all.
There are so many things I wouldn’t have been able to do if it weren’t for my blog and so much I’ve documented that I wouldn’t normally have bothered with - I can’t wait to watch or look back on it all in 20 year’s time and smile. Yes we’re always on instagram posting mundane photos of every day life, updating our statuses, checking in or tweeting random thoughts but why not? The technology is there so we should use it, enjoy it and make our virtual timeline as vibrant as possible. If the initial motivation to do something interesting, fun or different is so that we can blog it or get an amazing photo then does it really matter? It means we’re getting out there, doing more things and ultimately enjoying life to the fullest. We’re also pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones in some cases which without social media may not have even happened.
It’s a lifestyle choice, a mind-set and a sometimes hell of a lot of work but we do it because we love it and that’s the way it should be. Sometimes however there can be a lot of pressure and some pretty tight deadlines that take a little bit of that love away. It’s when you lose that love that you need to take a step back and if your readers enjoy your blog and respect you as a blogger they will understand you dropping your content output to every other day or if your tweets aren’t as frequent as usual. Those who do produce content every day - or sometimes even more - are usually able to blog full time (or are sweating a little behind the scenes!) so don’t feel inadequate for doing a little less. I work around two weeks in advance with my posts and take Friday, Saturday and Sundays off, I also plan my youtube videos a month ahead so I know what I need to film and when - without a queue feature I don’t know what I’d do!
Clever scheduling tools aside it still takes up a big chunk of my life outside of work and so i’ve decided to take a bit more of a back seat for the summer and drop my output slightly so i can enjoy the nice weather and spend time with friends, family and the bearded one. I’ve got books to finish reading, dresses to make with mum, kickboxing belts to achieve, mud runs to race and a whole lot of adventures to have, and although the evenings are long with the sunshine plentiful, sometimes there still aren’t enough hours in the day! I’m really proud of how far xameliax has come and i love my little blog even more than i did at the start (which is a real achievement for me), so it’s incredibly important to look after that love and keep my posts fresh not forced. I’m not going away forever, but you might notice a day or two missing a post and maybe won’t see everything i’m up to on my social sites for now - sometimes it’s nice to have a few things just for you and your special people to share.
I suppose the moral of this little rambly post (apart from explaining my mini hiatus) is to say a huge well done to everyone who blogs and works full time together – it takes a lot of time and it’s an incredible feat to create your own virtual organized brain space. But don’t kill yourself trying to keep up with others who have more time or try to live up to what you think a normal amount of content is. Post for you and protect that passion, don’t let deadlines and pressure ever take that away and never let those who don’t enjoy or understand social media the same way as we do make you feel lame for posting.
We’re making memories and leaving our little stamp on the world - here’s to us and all our updates, regardless of how many people are reading!
Although i don’t think i’ll be getting a job at Gala as their new caller anytime soon, being part of the bingo call campaign has been quite a laugh! You can check out all the other classic calls from bloggers and youtubers across the country herewith some very clever ideas sure to jazz up any bingo evening for the biddies playing along!
How you would have filmed number 51? Tweet me @xameliax #costabingocalls!
…and if you’re playing bingo anywhere this weekend, stampers at the ready and a jolly good luck from me!
While it won’t win any awards for musical genius, the lyrics in Baz Luhrmann’s sunscreen have unashamedly become my life bible. The two quotes above have come to mind recently, and after an overwhelming number of tweets expressing the same feelings, they’ve inspired me to write this post in the hope it may help others out there who are feeling the same way or possibly even make some people stop and think for a moment if they’re the friend on the other side.
I used to have a ‘friend’ many years ago that would constantly make me feel like poop. Whenever we’d meet up the conversation would always be about her and she would purposely avoid talking about fun things that were going on in my life by just not asking or changing the subject. However as soon as anything bad happened to me she would be instantly interested to hear all the details and pity me and my unfortunate events. When my blog started taking off she would never ask how it was going, any holidays were ignored, photos weren’t liked or commented on and unless it was an argument or fall out, happy relationships were a topic completely off bounds. After a few years of feeling pretty miserable I decided that enough was enough and slowly broke away from our friendship…and do you know what? It felt so much better.
I’ve never had many girl friends, because friendships with the opposite sex are a whole world easier without the bitching, jealousy or stroppy moments. My ‘breakup’ left me feeling worried that that’s how friendships with girls were supposed to be and i became even more wary about making new female friends. It wasn’t until about a year later that I found a couple of girls that behaved like proper friends and we made a truly wonderful bond without any of the drama. All could be bared with no judging, no relishing negative events and most importantly genuine excitement for each other when positive things happened -It turned out my original ‘friend’ really wasn’t much of a friend at all!
As you get older time gets sparse and meet-ups become fewer and far between - the odd coffee here and there on a lunch break, dinner booked in for months in advance, sporadic texts and a quick scroll and comment through social media updates replace the daily meetings and weekly wine nights you used to share. The true test of a friendship however is if when you finally do meet up after a month or two and catch-up on all the goss, it’s like you never left each other and all that positivity is still there. Luckily for me I have a few friendships where this is the case and it makes meeting up a rather exciting occasion filling each other in on what’s been happening over a nice drink, good food and a lot of laughs. The conversation flows, each one of us takes turns to ask lots of questions to find out what each other is up to and there’s no envy or avoiding asking about things you think might make you jealous. But sadly not all of my new friendships held onto that positive vibe they started out with and catch-up conversations have become more and more one-sided. I love hearing about what’s going on in my friend’s lives but when I start leaving numerous meet-ups knowing everything about their life with them knowing nothing about mine because they haven’t asked to hear more about things I may have said, or even just haven’t asked at all, it makes me a little sad and I start to wonder why.
When I was being bullied at school my mum always used to say ‘They’re just jealous’ and I would shrug it off because at 15, overweight, with severe acne, glasses and braces there really was nothing for anyone to be envious of! The truth is, everyone gets jealous, especially women, because there’s so much pressure on us to be/look/act and live a certain way. Even I’ve fallen foul to pangs of jealousy when a friend looks amazing in a dress I couldn’t pull off or if they’re off out to a fancy restaurant of an evening and I’m stuck in with my holey pyjamas and an Indian takeaway. But I’ve never let that envy get in the way of a friendship and not told them they looked amazing in that dress or asked in great detail how their dinner date went.
I suppose the moral of this rambly story (if you’re still with me) is that you shouldn’t let jealousy get in the way of friendships. It happens, even to the best of friendships but if that relationship is precious then you should hold on tight. There’s a difference between being real friends and feeling a little envious to that poisonous relationship that’s based purely on competition. I do think jealousy is a hell of a lot harder to cope with when you and your bestie have had that carefree friendship in the past, but like every relationship worth having, it takes a bit of work.
So share your experiences, ask questions, get as much goss as you can and if you’re a little jealous, smile and let it go. Just because you don’t look as good as your bestie today or your weekend isn’t as fun packed as theirs don’t hold it against them – be happy for them, praise them and share their excitement…because that’s what friends are for.
I’m a fairly healthy person. I eat well, exercise regularly, don’t smoke and i drink in moderation but I do allow myself cheat days because, well, I just love food. I wish I didn’t enjoy food, but I do, I’m the definition of the word foodie and I really don’t think that will ever change. Tomorrow I’m jetting off to warmer climates for a week of relaxation and as I will be spending the majority of my time wandering around in a bikini I, like most other people, want to look good. I’m also very aware that we have 7 days of all inclusive bar and buffet access, so before we go I’ve been attempting to shift a few extra lbs in order to help me feel a bit more beautiful in my bandeau and less guilty for that 5th sugar laden mojito of the morning. But over the past two weeks of cutting back and ‘dieting’ I’ve ended up feeling more negative than positive and have come to the sweeping conclusion that all diets are rubbish.
Here are my reasons why:
1. Telling yourself you can’t eat something is like telling your brain not to think about polar bears. There, see – impossible.
Enforcing imaginary rules that certain foods are off limits will leave you a miserable shell of a woman within the first three hours of your diet especially when Sandra from accounting brings over a tray full of cakes for her birthday that everyone tucks into while you’re sat at your desk licking a Ryvita and wishing death upon them all. Allow yourself to eat whatever you want whenever you want, just ask yourself before you tuck in if you really do need it or want it and go from there. You’ll be surprised how strong your willpower is when it’s not being told what it can and can’t do by the diet police inside your brain.
2. Most ‘low fat’ ‘low calorie’ options are a complete jip.
Think you’re being a saint for eating that low fat chocolate muffin, or swapping your normal dinner for a low calorie ready meal you can count on one hand? Think again. Most of the ‘low fun’ alternatives are more than likely packed full of salt, sugar and other nasties to make up for the fact that their factory is a butter-free zone. And those low calorie meals for one? They’re all the size of a thimble when you peel back the film and leave you frantically sniffing that packet of digestives in the cupboard within minutes of putting your fork down. I say if you want the taste of your favourites then bloody well have them. I mean don’t pick up the phone to your local curry house and order the entire front side of the menu, but do ditch that ‘Be Good To Yourself’ child-size masala and whip up your own version with brown rice and zero fat yoghurt instead of cream. More than half the calories in a takeaway and it satisfies those cravings. It’ll also be filled with good stuff (no nasties) and it will actually fill you up unlike that depressing plastic-wrapped prison food sat in the chilled section of Sainsburys.
3. Calorie counting apps make you miserable. Simple as.
I started using one (Nutracheck for those wondering) to keep track of how detrimental my ‘cheat days’ were to my overall weekly calorie total and it turns out, VERY. The problem was I then became addicted to counting everything that passed my lips on my app and it made me incredibly depressed. These apps can be really useful as a guide but don’t take them as gospel – I found myself on a number of occasions sat clutching the Chinese takeaway menu rocking backwards and forwards whispering that we don’t have to tell the app, It will be our little chow mein secret. Normal.
4. Diets turn all women completely mental. Fact.
The moment you say you’re on a diet it triggers the crazy lady switch in your brain and suddenly anyone else eating any type of food is out to get you. Have you ever noticed how loud people chew before? Walking through town at lunchtime with the sights and smells of freshly baked pasties, plump looking sandwiches in windows and that cake shop that you’re pretty sure was sent from the devil to test you becomes a marathon of unbridled self-hatred for wanting to shove your face into Greggs big chicken bakes and motorboat them before drowning in an oily, flaky, pastry mess. And heaven forbid your other half enjoys a beer or a piece of chocolate at any point, even when you’re not around. You become a bloodhound sniffing out the Peroni he had down the pub three days ago when you were at the gym and hating every bone in his body for it. Diets make us crazy. Bat.Sh*t.Crazy.
5. It’s all about the confidence anyway (who let Gok Wan in?)
The truth is, Aunty G had it right. It doesn’t matter how big or small you are, how many curves you have or the ratio of wobble to slim – if you know you look hot, then you look hot. I know telling you that men don’t notice that cellulite on your bum or that little roll of fat between your boob and your armpit is about as useful as a fork in a sugar bowl (mmmm sugar) but it’s true! They’re going to be spending more time looking at how great your bum looks in those skinny jeans or how amazing your bazoomers are in that bra, stop obsessing and love yourself how you are. A woman walking across a bar or a beach bursting with inner confidence and that little ‘yeah, I’m bloody gorgeous’ wiggle in her walk is going to turn heads and make men feel things in their pants department whether she’s a size 8 or a size 18. That girl however who’s hiding her tummy, shoulders slumped with her head down and that ‘please don’t look at my *insert list of insecurities here*’ look on her face isn’t going to get any heads turning whether she’s got the perfect body or not. Wake up every morning, look in that mirror and tell yourself ‘God damn I am a fine specimen of a woman’ not ‘Oh dear lord look at the size of that muffin top I’m never eating again’ – it’s not healthy and it’s not cool. You’d be amazed at what a bit of confidence can do for you, suddenly that diet doesn’t seem so important any more.
So if you’re currently cutting back on the cals and feeling like the universe hates you please remember that you’re not alone - go to the kitchen and get yourself whatever you want because that chocolate bar isn’t going to kill you and life is way too short to feel this miserable! I’m officially banning the word diet, and voting for healthy lifestyle changes over a normal period of time and making it mandatory to love yourself how you are because ladies, we’re fabulous and no amount of weight is EVER going to change that.