Worried About Lockdown? Us Too.

For those of you who read my blog on a regular basis (shout out to Mum and Dad), will know that this blog is all about promoting the mental wellbeing of my readers by offering inspiring real life content and motivational pieces.

In the flesh, I’m no different. Unsatisfied unless I’ve done something productive in my day, I try and encourage mental wellbeing in both myself and my partner Darren. However, sometimes I need help and Darren, his sister Louise and my family have all been there to support me in this difficult time.

It goes to show that everyone needs help from time to time and just because your friend or family member seems to have their life in order, things may not always be as peachy as they appear.

I have worries and concerns everyday about a whole host of things, mainly financial due to losing my full time job as a product lister for an eCommerce brand, but I do my best to plod through. We deal with the hand we’re dealt and although sometimes it feels like a lot of others have landed on their feet where I keep stumbling and falling over, I keep moving forward because that’s all I can do.

However dark things may seem at the moment, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Watching Darren progress at learning the ukulele and seeing the chord progression finally click in his brain yesterday was super encouraging and I am so proud of him.

It’s definitely true that other people’s energies reflect onto you and vice versa and as we carry on like the good Brits we are, I do feel hopeful, regardless of my worries. We will return to our new normal one day but for now, we should be making the best of things.

Things will have a habit of working themselves out, we just have to believe it so.

Until next time.

2020: The Year The World Stood Still

2020 is definitely the year that stood still. Since lockdown begun, we have frozen all forward motion, as if stuck in a limbo of what ifs and buts. Nothing seems quite right, the natural order of things have been knocked off track and come to a stand still, we’re waiting at a red light before we can get moving again.

But when we move again, will things ever return to normal, or are we to establish a new equilibrium? One where social distancing is a part of our everyday lives and the fear of germs is overwhelming?

The UK’s Chief Medical Officer has advised that we may have to see social distancing in place until a vaccine is found as, although we have reached our artificial peak, we haven’t seen the full capabilities of the virus gone wild.

This being said, when we begin to move again, how long will it take to recover? How long before we will be able to return to the safety of our 9 to 5 jobs, our comfortable routines? Will we need to try again, try something different?

When we see the green light to go, will we be mentally prepared, or will we see hesitancy, people too afraid to jump right in, the fear of uncertainty and newness a strange and unwelcome sight?

I for one, am feeling rather lost. I plod through each day but rather with lack of enjoyment. I long for the days without stress and worry, for love and happiness to run amuck. I want to embrace my family and friends without caution, without prejudice. There’s a great deal of difference between my life before and now, including a 9 to 5 office job and financial security, and hectic socialising in between, but I’m getting surprisingly used to the empty days, much to my dismay.

There will be good days again, full of sunshine and laughter, when we are all safe to do so, we just have to wait and watch this black cloud blow over. Once the storm has passed, we’ll soon see what our new lives will hold.

As 2020 stands still for us, I ask the question: will life ever be the same again?


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Interior Design | Cat Cafe Alice In Wonderland Wall Mural

Sorry it’s been a while, I know I haven’t posted anything for a few weeks but to summarise: its been hectic.

The past few weeks I have been planning and executing an interior design project for Eastbourne’s very first Vintage Cat Cafe, The Mad Catter. The idea for the client Lucy Allen was to create an Alice in Wonderland inspired wall mural.

My initial inspiration was the basement. As it has a low ceiling and cosy feel, I felt as if a magical forest scene would work wonders in the space. I bought a few tester paint pots after sketching out the idea on the freshly plastered wall and came to the conclusion that the style that would most compliment my talent would be a 2D cartoon, Disney-esque mural.

I have a degree in Animation which means I have classical technical drawing training, and my artwork projects have often involved a lot of colour and contrast which meant this project was leading up to be something incredibly rewarding.

However, the biggest obstacle I had to face during this project was the free roaming cats which I constantly had to keep an eye on because I had visions of little paws covered in paint, tracking prints everywhere. To get past this, Darren and I managed to shut the majority of the 10 cats in the upstairs section of the cafe, simply while we painted, before letting them downstairs again upon departure. Cats don’t like to be excluded though so our painting was accompanied by a chorus of cat meows.

The whole project turned out better than I expected, with the bright blue and red being a pop of colour in the otherwise neutral coloured basement so overall I consider this project to be a massive success.

From our time spent as quirky interior designers, Darren and I would love to continue with this so if you have a project you would like doing: a wall mural, a quirky piece of artwork for your business, please get in touch with us at roamblogger@gmail.com.

Until next time.

Cheers!

Life Update: Where Are We Now?

As I keep saying to my boyfriend Darren, this year is a year of firsts. From the blog perspective, this means trying videos on my posts, and social media tactics I wouldn’t have tried prior to this year. It also means trying online shopping properly for the first time. From a business perspective it means taking on creative projects like art installations for The Mad Catter Vintage Cat Cafe in Eastbourne which is proving to be both intellectually stimulating as well as encouraging my imagination.

As previously mentioned, I am still struggling with the work/life balance, however weekends are now proving to be both productive as well as socially recharging.

This year has been a year of firsts but it’s also been a rollercoaster ride of events. From breaking down on our way to Chessington last week, to travelling to Portugal in March, to spending time developing my creative business and having opportunities to do so has meant this year has been a mixed bag of ups and downs. This year has seen death but it has also seen an abundance of life and passion, love and creativity and has shown me that it can be one big surprise, one after the next.

I am blessed to be able to say that I have lived life to the fullest, I have had adventure after adventure and have created memories which will last a lifetime.

While I look around, I see that the most fulfilled people are the people who have explored their passions and followed their dreams. My brother is now working in Ireland doing what he wants to do, Lucy is opening her cat café next month, Louise is about to pop a baby out, Andy is getting married, Ruth has successfully moved house, and I am so incredibly proud of all them and wish them all the best during their adventures.

Whether you have had a small or large life success we should learn to celebrate these. It is also worthwhile celebrating the life successes of others, as we should be able to celebrate and be happy for those of us around us.

I hope that the rest of this year will be as fruitful and as we creep into the darker, more dismal months of the year, I hope we can all keep our sights on our best futures, our new and existing adventures and grow into wonderfully enriched adults with a whole host of memories under our belts.

Until next time.

The Life Of A Career Woman: Hectic Schedules 🤯

For the past couple of weeks my calendar has exploded, making me feel like one of the most in demand people in the East Sussex area. I’m not and I’m only exaggerating for emphasis but I, like many others in this world, am struggling to maintain a healthy work/life balance as my life is missing one vital element: time to breathe.

From the moment I wake up to the time my head hits the pillow I am rushed off my feet. For starters I get an estimated six hours of sleep a night which is not ideal as I do love my sleep and it’s proven that less sleep can actually negatively impact your day as much as too much sleep can.

From the word go, I am rushing to get myself ready and in the car, opting to put makeup on when I reach the office instead of wasting precious time at home.

In an ideal world I’d have a driver and a PA to reduce my stress levels but who has the money, am I right?

Enough is enough. Stress is one of the largest killers across the globe, a preventable affliction brought on by an over abundance of empathy and the unwillingness to say no or disappoint people.

I work a 45 hour week roughly, and have spent an estimated additional 10+ hours on top of that designing logos for my friend’s new cat café opening in Eastbourne in the autumn, as well as running my blog (which, apologies, has been slacking lately). Across my weekends I am out and about constantly, socialising and recharging my extroverted batteries.

It’s safe to say that I’m exhausted.

So I have decided to manage my time better and allow time for myself. I am going to allow for an evening a week, or even two, where I can just sit on the sofa in my most comfortable pyjamas, listen to the ambient Dave Brubeck and relax, without worrying about anything else.

And this is the most effective way to reduce my stress. Not yoga, not mimosas with my girlies, or anything else. In order to relax, I personally need to take a step away from everything, shut off and be Kirsty, if only for a couple of hours.

How do you manage your hectic schedules? Let me know in the comments below or reach out to me on any of my socials (linked on the header of this website).

Until next time.

How To Create Great Photos For Your Blog Using Your iPhone

As someone with a history of photography, I can safely say that I never expected to be using my iPhone for my photos but with the current technology available and the great potential at your fingertips, why wouldn’t you at least experiment?

A traditional DSLR camera does have its advantages, there’s the ability to tripod mount your equipment, making photos still even at the greatest of pixels. There’s also the quality. For large prints of your photography, nothing beats a high quality, modern DSLR.

The biggest downside to a traditional camera is the cost. Arguably, the cost of a new phone is comparable but this is usually something already owned, rather than bought especially for the photography medium.

I use the iPhone 6S to take my photos for my blog, so my hints and tips will be aimed at similar users who want to take visually interesting photography for an online media, such as a blog, Instagram, or other digital apps that require visual media.

Step 1: Research

Before you take any photos you want to be looking at other blogs, other Instagram users to see what kind of photos inspire you.

My biggest influences are forever amber, Coco’s Tea Party, and Lily Pebbles who all have one thing in common, they fit within my lifestyle blogger niche.

Step 2: Choosing your subject material

You wouldn’t think so, but photography takes a lot of planning, especially when you post to somewhere where you are trying to establish a brand, like the destinations mentioned earlier, and different subject material requires slightly different editing that can throw your branding completely out of control if mixed badly. For example, travel photography tends to be more saturated whereas food photography is lightened and faded to create that magazine look. If photos of too many genres were to be slotted together, in say an Instagram feed, it could create a convoluted feel to your brand.

When choosing your subject materials, consider your blog and what would work well. It may seem obvious but photos of stationary on a nice wooden background would not highlight a blog post about food, and vice versa.

Step 3: Grid Layout

iPhone’s have a wonderful feature that places a 3 x 3 square grid across your camera while you’re taking photos, making it that much easier to follow the rule of thirds, center something such as this hot air balloon on Instagram, and ensure your picture is straight.

To access this feature, go to Settings, Camera, and turn the grid slider to green.

Step 4: The Edit

I’ve seen a few posts about this which recommend a few editing apps that cost money. The whole point of this post is to ensure that you are not investing money into a software that you may decide not to use.

Although Instagram has a wonderful photo editing software, I tend to use Google Snapseed which allows you to use filters, straighten and crop images to certain aspect ratios (which is ideal for consistent blog posts).

My favourite feature of Snapseed is the Last Edits filter which remembers the previous edit, making it simple and easy to replicate a style when editing photos in bulk.

I hope this article offered some insight into the world of iPhone photography. For further reading on this topic, I recommend Color Photography, Photo Lines and Repetition Photo Tips, as well as Phone Photography Tips.

Until next time.