The Allergy and Free From Show – Free Tickets!

Hello,

logo-london.png

 

Fancy going to the Allergy and Free From Show for free?

All you have to do is subscribe to Champagne Twist, send a message asking for tickets and I will send you the code.

 

 

Herb growing – Wildlife Gardening Workshop: Holland Park Ecology Centre

Hello,

Last Saturday, I popped over to Holland Park Ecology Centre, in the rather fashionable part of London town, to listen to Julie Henley-Wilkinson’s talk about herb growing.

As part of the talk, the audience was treated to visits to 2 different allotments tin the Kensington area, and well as a demonstration and hand-on workshop on herb propagation. Below is a video I put together of the demonstration, followed by a few pictures to clarify anything that wasn’t clearly covered in the footage.

I’m in the process of editing a couple more videos relating to the trip, which I will publish soon. ¬†For now, if you’re interested in growing your own herbs, I hope you will find the following useful.

 

leaf node

leaves stem

Herb cutting propagation
Rosemary cutting

By the way, I have a recipe for focaccia bread using rosemary, as well as a post about regrowing your own food here. Check them out!

Please subscribe for more information and to ensure you don’t miss future posts.

Thanks for reading.

=========

Edit:

The visit to Holland Park took place several hours before the horrific events at Borough Market, Vauxhall and London Bridge. Please, if you can, donate to the British Red Cross to help the victims and their families. http://www.redcross.co.uk/love. Thank you.

Blogtacular ‚Äď (5) What to wear

Going-to-Blogtacular-200

Yesterday’s topic centred on equipment essentials, so naturally today’s topic focuses on what to wear to Blogtacular!

OK, on the face of it, clothing doesn’t break the top 10 most important things … or does it?

Fringe event: Photowalk

I have just found out that I won a place on the photowalk. I’m super stoked about this, especially as the photowalk leader is none other than Kristabel Plummer of I want you to know fame. The photography on her website¬†are a sight to behold, so if I can gain any morsel of expertise from her, I will consider the entire photowalk a success.

The location is a secret and will remain so up to the last minute. So, what on earth to wear, and how to plan wen we have so little information to hand? Considering we will be out and about in the elements for up to 2 hours, that automatically rules out my 12 inch heels.  So, my thoughts are to start with the footwear and work my way up.

  • Trainers – I’m guessing that the majority day will be spent walking on hard concrete or tarmac, with the possibility of a park or along a waterway. So that means trainers, as they should cope with most if not all London terrain. If the walk becomes muddy, that rules out my ‘fancy’ trainers, so it’s back to plain black.
  • Trousers – As much as I would like to wear one of my newly hand made dresses, practically it would be best to wear comfy trousers. That, and dresses rarely go well with dresses. ¬†Plus Kristabel is a fashion guru – I doubt she would give a tuppence, but I think I should try to make a fashionable effort.
  • Top – That is currently a work in progress, and is subject to another post – watch this space!
  • Other items: Naturally I will keep an eye out for the weather forecast, but I will consider taking either a mac or some sort of knitwear in case it gets cold or rains. Also a spare water proof bag and a brolly, just in case.

Fringe event: Party

I might wear a frock and my 12 inch heels! Well I’m going to make more of an effort, that said, its nice to know that if I wear¬†a jeans and t-shirt combo, I won’t be out of place. But, any excuse to dress up is more than enough for me.

Blogtacular

For the main event,¬†I’m going to keep things simple, with comfort as a priority. I imagine there will be a lot of sitting, so I will be steering away from any restrictive clothing. I’m actually¬†making an¬†outfit specially, thus pictures will posted¬†in due course.

I will review my clothing choices and post the results after Blogtacular.

What are you planning on wearing to the events? Are you keeping things practical or dressing up to the nines? Share your ideas in the comments box below.

Tomorrow‚Äôs topic will be, “Last minute checks”. Hope to see you then.

 

 

Blogtacular ‚Äď (4) Equipment essentials

Going-to-Blogtacular-200

Sadly, I write this post after yesterday’s double terrorist attacks in London. Yet again, I find the motivation to blog difficult as my thoughts are understandably elsewhere.

I suggested that at the event we could spare a moment to pay our respects to the victims of terrorist attacks around the world. I also suggested that we could have a 1 day fundraiser in support of the victims of the 3 recent attacks in London and Manchester.

The ideas were thought of as ‘nice’, but not the ‘focus’ of the event.

I’m a little disappointed by the response. I feel that if we don’t show our support either in a symbolic or practical way, then what is the point of the whole thing? This has¬†thrown some shade, and I’m now questioning the purpose of the event and if I will personally get anything positive from it. Here’s hoping things¬†improve nearer the time.

If you have any ideas on what we could do to show our support to the victims of these recent attacks, both here and abroad, please let me know.

Some attendees have expressed their worries about security and safety coming into London. Yes, it is a worrying time, but none of us know what is around the corner, so for me, it is best to carry on, be aware of the situation and try my best to do my best in all things. If we continue to love and respect each other, then these cruel events will diminish.  If we allow fear to triumph, then we have all lost.

I am more determined today than yesterday to achieve my goals, and if I don’t reach them, well at least I tried my best, and caused no harm. Personally, rather than worrying about something that probably won’t happen, I would rather do something practical like a take part in a one minute silence to think about the victims, or to help raise funds for the victims and their families and/ or encourage participation in something nurturing, positive and creative. Something that promotes love and diminishes fear and hate.

Now back to the purpose of this post –¬†yesterday ¬†I wrote about my 4 urgent social media revamp tasks. Today, I’m writing about the equipment I’m considering taking to Blogtacular.

With so many people due to attend, the thought of carrying around a huge bag of tricks doesn’t appeal. I know by lunch time I will be tired, sore and perhaps even a little hangry. So I plan to take the absolute minimum essentials, these are:

  1. Pen and notepaper. ¬†I understand some¬†stationery¬†will be provided, but having my own means I will have enough for my copious notes. I am the world’s worse at short hand, and tend to write verbatim for fear of missing something. Actually, it’s better to listen, especially as all the talks are recorded. But, we all have our little quirks, and if it makes me feel better, then so be it. I can also hide in a corner and write my thesis, just in case I feel a little overwhelmed.
  2. Bottle of water. Yes, food and drinks are provided, but as the weather is heating up, it’s always a good idea to travel with water. The Tube can be very hot at this time of year, and we don’t what anyone suffering from heat exhaustion. Plus, I imagine at peak times there will be a long queue for the refreshments, so maybe it could save time.
  3. Phone. Great for Insta stories, swapping¬†new contact details, photography, note taking, voice memos etc. ¬†Am I the only person who doesn’t use their phone to actually call people? I have a spare battery and card and that’s it.
  4. Paper clips. This may seem an odd one, but when you have loads of information, potentially tons of business cards and of course masses of notes, paper clips might help to keep everything in order. Just 2 or 3 could make all the difference.
  5. Plastic / water proof or water resistant A4 document wallet. I get nervous, and then I spill something, usually over my precious documents or note book. Or it rains cats and dogs and everything gets soaking wet. But this time I’m prepared – I’m taking a plastic wallet, which will help keep all my papers safe from my cup of tea. That and remembering that I’m not an octopus.
  6. Spare waterproof shopper. Only last week I was, for once, carrying my fashionable¬†straw basket, when the heavens opened. Thank goodness I had my large waterproof shopper which covered my basket, saving both it and its contents from the downpour. Plus, I’m hoping that the stalls at the events will have a few goodies for me to bring home.
  7. Spare energy bar / snacks.  Again for the journey to and from the event.

What essentials are you planning to take with you to Blogtacular? Please share in the comment box below.

Tomorrow’s topic will be, “What to wear”. Hope to see you then.

 

 

Blogtacular – (3) Revamping my social media – 4 urgent tasks

Hello,

Yesterday, I wrote about my fears and concerns about attending Blogtacular, and how I hope to overcome them. Today, after a very busy day planting marigolds, as you do, my post concerns how I’m going to revamp my online presence. Following¬†is a list of 5 tasks I wish to complete before Blogtacular.

  1. Social Media Links. I’m double checking all my social media links over the next few days. I know how annoying it is to get excited about a new website, only to find that half it’s links don’t work. ¬†Hopefully I won’t find any broken links, but if I do, now is the time to fix them.
  2. Website. Does your website need a late spring clean? Does your side bar need a bit of a tidy up? ¬†I’ve updated my side bar, removing any non-current series links and any pictures which I’m not 100% happy about. ¬†Blogtacular is an opportunity to find out what works and doesn’t work about my website, and time shouldn’t be wasted after the event on things which I could¬†attend to¬†now.
  3. Update social media welcome/front pages. ¬†I will also update my ‘about page’, so that new comers will get to know me and what I’m all about.
  4. Write a press pack. I’m finally going to write my press pack and publish it. ¬†If I can, I will also seek advice about it on the day, in case I need to make adjustments. ¬†But, if I at least try, it will show prospective collaborators that I mean business.

What are you planning to do with your online social network before Blogtacular? Please share in the comment box below.

Tomorrow, the topic is about preparing equipment for Blogtacular. It would be great if you could join me then. Bye for now.

 

 

Blogtacular 2017 – (2) Fears and Concerns

Hello,

Going-to-Blogtacular-200

Yesterday, I wrote about my hopes for Blogtacular 2017. Today the topic relates to my fears, concerns and how I will attempt to tackle them.

I admit, the initial outlay for me is a huge spur, in that I need to make this event cost effective for me and my future plans.  But like many people, the thought of meeting potentially 100s of people all at once, fills me with a mix of excitement and dread.  What if I say the wrong thing, what if wear something inappropriate?

I am definitely one of those people who would rather find the nearest, shaded corner and stick to it like glue. I want to focus on the learning opportunities, without worrying about how I look or if I say something silly.

Solution? РChill out, stop eating cow and most importantly stop worrying about these things.  Easier said than done of course, but these are 3 things I need to remember:

  1. One of the goals of this event is to have as much fun as possible. Most of the people going to Blogtacular were either in the same boat or are in the same boat. ¬†We are all going to be a bit nervous, even probably the hosts! But it’s important¬†to remember, this is an event in London, in June, which celebrates all things¬†blogging, vlogging, creative, shopping, crafts … heck is it June 10th yet?
  2. Another goal I have is to meet more people. Blogging is great fun, but can suddenly become a very solitary career if not kept in check. I have noticed how hard it is to discuss blogging matters to non-bloggers. ¬†As much as I love the movie “The Net”, I don’t relish a future as the Sandra Bullock character.
  3. The main goal for me during this event is to learn how to take this blog, my youtube channel, Pinterest and Instagram feeds further. Whirling ideas around in my own head is only going to get me so far. It is also a chance to share and even impart some of my own wisdom to others. The opportunity to share and exchange ideas is a positive thing and will always lead to growth .

So, while no doubt I will be spending some time hiding in my strategically selected¬†corner, gathering up courage to speak to some poor, unsuspecting soul, – for which I apologise now in case I do say something stupid – I will also, after a suitable amount of time has elapsed, venue out onto the ‘dance floor’.

Another ways to break the ice is to attend one of the fringe events. There are 2 photowalks and a videowalk scheduled for Friday 9th, as well as a pre-conference party, also held on Friday. These are opportunities to meet people before the conference in a more manageable group size, as well as gain some more skills so vital to the blogging arena. So if you can, sign up for these fringe events and hopefully it will help ease any fears you may have.

What are your tips and suggestions to cope with anxiety or dealing with unusual situations? Are you shy or worried about meeting new people? How do you overcome these situations? Please comment below and share your ideas.

Tomorrow, I will write about how I’m planning to revamp my social network in time for Blogtacular. Please subscribe so you don’t miss the next instalment in this series.

Thanks for reading, see you tomorrow.

May Favourites on Champagne Twist

Hello,

The May favourites video went live this morning on YouTube. If you would like to watch, please click the screen below. Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and watching ūüôā

Countdown to Blogtacular!

Hello,

Can you believe it? This is day 1 of month 6 of 2017! A lot has happened so far this year, and not all of it good. But I hope that the remainder of the year will prove to be more peaceful, productive and perhaps  dare I say more lucrative. For me a reboot kicks off on June 10, with the long awaited spectacular that is Blogtacular.

Going-to-Blogtacular-200

This will be my first Blogtacular, and it is for me, a risky financial investment. I say investment, in that I hope that I will be able to recoup my outlay, gaining quality information and guidance to improve my social media network. I hope to solidify my  skillset in order to become more productive in terms of my media content production. I also hope to meet loads of bloggers, vloggers, crafters, artists and creators to be inspired and hopefully inspire others. (Oooh that sounds good, I should put that on my press pack! Рhmm maybe not.)

It’s a lot to ask of a 1 day conference. There’s also much to do to prepare for¬†the event, and so I’m taking time out now to ensure that I am able to get the very most out of the experience.

In the run up to Blogtacular I will blog daily my hints and tips up to the day, as well as report on the day itself. I will say if I managed to achieve everything I hoped for.  I will also review the event, and ascertain if it was value for money.

So no pressure then.

Today, I have discussed my hopes and aims for the conference, tomorrow I shall detail my fears and concerns, and how I will try to tackle them.  Please subscribe to find out how I prepare for Blogtacular and please share your thoughts about the event in the comments box below.

Thanks for reading.

#makelikeaboss: The Village Haberdashery and A L’aise event – My Take-A-Ways

Today, I visited¬†The Village Haberdashery in North West London, to a) not buy any fabric (didn’t work!) and b) listen to a talk by a remarkable business owner, Suzie Dicker.

For the 2nd of the Make like a boss series, Suzie Dicker of A L’aise (which happens to be French for ‘at ease’ or ‘comfort’), explained to a keen audience how she¬†started her amazing business with practically nothing. Yet within 18 months, her stationery and small leather goods company can easily sit amongst such brand names as Smythson, Orla Kiely¬†and Cath Kidston.

My 3 take-a-ways from the talk were:

  1. Don’t try and do everything yourself – if you’re not good with numbers, get an accountant. Outsourcing isn’t a dirty word, or something to be ashamed of, rather it should be embraced, as it will allow you to focus on the areas of the business you excel at.
  2. Good product photography is key. ¬†Suzie attended 2 trade shows in her first year of business, which created a buzz for her products. She made the point however, if those potential customers then refer back to a website which doesn’t match the high quality of the products, it doesn’t¬†create the best impression.
  3. You can start a business with no money. ¬†This is a huge one for me, as I’m in the process of building my own business on a limited budget. Have a business plan – if you need help writing a business plan, ask¬†an accountant or business advisor. Make sure you have the paperwork to back up your dreams before you head towards your bank manager. Start off with a professional business plan and make it impossible for the bank manager to say no.

Actually, there was another personal take-a-way  I finally managed to source the fabric for my top to match my Henley Skirt. It has only taken me the best part of a year, and yes I did promise not to buy any more fabric. But then again, if recent events have taught us anything, seizing the day seems rather apt.

The next in the make like a boss series features Tilly Walnes from Tilly and the Buttons. Visit the Village Haberdashery website for more details, check out the facebook page here.

Thanks to Suzie for an inspiring talk and  all at Village Haberdashery for hosting such a fantastic event.