Man oh man it's been a long time since I wrote one of these? Maybe 4 whole weeks ago?
If you're familiar with my blog you'll know I choose 5 Friday Favs per week errrr week but then I went on holidays and had guest bloggers and here we are, 4 weeks on and nothing to show for it!
With that in mind I have been jotting down my favourite things over the past 3 weeks and I thought I'd do a huge roundup and a bumper issue of my Friday Favourites for ya'll today. Capiche? Bit of light relief from yesterday's rant no?
I thought I best start with the obvious hadn't I? I went on a traditional British holiday in the last two weeks of July, me and my boyfriend basically tagged on with my parents and we stayed in a gorgeous little cottage in Steep in Hampshire. Being SO close to the border meant we could go here there and everywhere and ventured over to Sussex, Berkshire, The New Forest and popped over to The Isle Of Wight for a day too. We (by some miracle) managed to pick the two hottest fortnight of the summer and pootled about in 32 degree heat, ate a lot of ice creams and soaked up a LOT of culture and history. I'm doing a photo diary for the trip tomorrow so you can see more and I'll talk a bit more about it then but it was obviously my most favourite thing about the past few weeks.
2. Bloggers Blog Awards.
If you're a blogger who's active on Twitter and you haven't seen about the Blogger Blog Awards quite frankly where have you been this month?! The Bloggers Blog Awards are awards run by bloggers, nominated by bloggers, for bloggers and they are so vitally important to support. Basically there a bazillion categories (cannot confirm a bazillion) and you nominate whoever you think is the best fit which is what makes it so fabulous. I voted right at the start of opening for my favs and I was UTTERLY thrilled to find out some people had nominated me for Best Newcomer! All throughout those first few days of noms when people were tweeting to say they'd included me I was genuinely so thrilled that people thought I was good enough and liked my little blog enough to vote for me. I have a real issue with people putting appeals for votes on their blogs etc so I'm not doing it and I genuinely just want to thank the people who thought of me when they made their noms, simply for thinking of me and this rambly little blog. You're all stunners the lot of you.
Whilst I was on holiday I managed to ignore the weather information and pack for what I expected to be a traditional British break ; rainy. Well, we all know what happened, it was HOT and sunny and I had a to make a desperate dash to Primark on day 3 to stock up on summer clothes because I was melting. I did however manage to stick to jeans because lol insecurities and that was WARM but hey, I consider it a challenge complete. I bought some floaty off the shoulder tops, some pink Vans knock offs and then obvs some accessories and a magenta version of the yellow bag I bought at the beginning of the month. I also stocked up on notebooks (including a diary for 2017 naturally) and Paperchase postcards to add to my collection. I picked up a few trinket and ring trays which are my new favourite things plus a GINORMOUS mug and a travel cup which was half price. I also got some homeware bits and bobs for my bathroom like these little wooden ships and OMG THE CUTEST tiny china ducks.
4. One Years Old.
Yassss whilst I was away my little freelance illustration business turned one years old. If I wasn't away I would've liked to have done a proper celebration with a sale on my shop and maybe a giveaway but such is life, maybe next year. However, turning one did make me think about the past year and what I have achieved, what I wish I had done and the things I've learnt about running my own business and there's nothing like a little look back to get you all melancholy. Now I am more motivated than ever to get working again, get back on it and create and design and hopefully sell lots! My illustration website is currently under construction for a few weeks whilst I have a huge new revamp and I'm excited to get that underway and all the ideas I have. So yeah, happy first birthday Gwennan Rees Illustration!
5. Coconut Lane.
Oh hello another blogger who's a Coconut Queen? Yuh huh it's me and the rest of the blogging community but really, I bloody love Coconut Lane. After becoming a Coconut Queen (the name for brand ambassadors FYI) I treated myself to a few bits and bobs in celebration because duh. I bought the 'Eat Sleep Slay Repeat' notebook for myself and then popped the 'Queen B' and 'Kayne' cards in my basket as well as I have people in mind to send them to... Coconut Lane products are ridiculously fabulous, ridiculously sassy and if that wasn't enough - ridiculously cheap. Baring in mind the notebooks are a mere 6 quid anyway, as a Coconut Queen I get a discount to share with you lovely lot so you never need pay full price again! You lucky lot.
Use my code meltdown20 at the checkout for your 20% discount time and time again!
6. Instagram Goals.
Baring in mind I don't have an Instagram theme (remember this post?) my summer holiday made my Instagram feed all kinds of beautiful. The blue skies, the sea, the greenery, the houses, the flowers, the injection of pink.....I was SO in love with my grid over my break away and if it could always stay that beautiful that'd be ideal.
7. Blogosphere Magazine.
I mean can you even call a publication as thick as a book a magazine? Probs not. If you didn't know, Blogosphere mag is a publication ( this one is issue 9) that is written by bloggers for other bloggers about the blogging world. From interviews to tips to photography to events, it's the most gorgeous luxe blogging magazine ever. Like even down the quality of the paper for the inside pages - you know it's a damn good thing. I finally got my hands on a copy in July as they are sold online but they are also in select WH Smith stores and it seems so much more fun to hunt a physical copy out no? I haven't even finished reading this issue and I've had it a week but it's soooo thick and glossy I just keep dipping into it and reading a bit with breakfast. Definitely get your mitts on one if you can and support the brilliant work they're doing.
8. iPhone Case Addiction.
The struggle is real. The struggle not to buy every iPhone case on the planet that is. I have moved up the ranks as the years have gone on buying slightly out of season, second hand iPhones right from the 4 and now I'm on the 6. With every phone has come the opportunity to buy new cases, a hobby which I LOVE. I think I racked up a collection of around 30 the 2 and a half years I had my 4, probably only about 7 or 8 when I had the 5c and now I am 10 into my collection for the 6. And that's in like 3 months maybe? Basically I buy all my cases when they get to 99p with free P&P on Ebay or the Wish app. If you haven't heard of Wish it's basically an app where they sell almost anything at a discounted price. Most of it comes from China and Japan and most of it is knock offs but if you sort through the shit you can find some bargains (it was through Wish I got the silver alien nail varnish I'm obsessed with. I am a bit in love with the little vibe I have going on with my cases at the moment; my fav being the black and white marble esque case. Am thinking of the donut one for #BloggerPitP?
Well seen as I mentioned it above what more appropriate time than to include the Bloggers Picnic as one of my favourites. The whole of July head honcho/organiser Sarah has put her little minions (me, Effi, Hannah, Amyleigh, Mel and Nina) to work and we have all been busy organising the bloggers event we have in Hyde Park in just over 2 weeks. The event is a bigggg picnic for 40 bloggers in London's Hyde Park on Saturday August 20th (pray for nice weather people) and is basically a chance for us all to get together, put a face to a name, eat some yummy food and take loads of Instagram photos. We have some really exciting things in store for those of you going and we have been working our little butts off so it's really nice to see everything coming together (and to have some really exciting blogger mail in the post!) There are a handful of spaces left at the event so if you want to come with us make sure you snap one up before they all go! Tweet one of us or get in touch with Sarah - all the information you need is on the post below!
10. My Little Blog Monkey.
It's Friday, it's a list of my favourites and I absolutely have to give the biggest #FF shoutout to my pal Rebecca from TheStyleShake.com. My love for this gal is long standing and nothing of a surprise but this past week she has excelled herself. A little while back Rebecca included me in a post about her fav bloggers ( uh thank you thank you -takes bow-) and I mentioned then how she just seemed to GET ME. Like she did a little summary of what my blog is about and it was so perfect I wish I could use it as like a testimonial or put it in my media kit or summin. Not only is her blog one of my favourites (she writes like Hannah Gale but more sarky, I mean, what's not to love) but she is THE DREAM on social media. Always cheering me on, always sending me hilarious GIFS, always appreciative of a monkey hugging his best pal monkey....she is basically my spirit animal or long lost twin or something. I tweeted last week 'When @RebeccaRailton tags you in the account of a raccoon and you don't even question why, you just follow the raccoon.' It was true story and she has since gone on to show me the wonderful world of Insta famous foxes. When someone you have never met sends you a picture of a raccoon to follow with NO WORD OF EXPLANATION and you don;t even think wtf that's weird, you know you have made a solid online pal. Love you gal!
A month or so after I started my bullet journal I thought I'd include a stat tracker and set goals for my blog and social media accounts, and thus I did. I hit my first goal within like a fortnight for my blogs pageviews, I think in hindsight they were a little too easy for someone who's Twitter and Pinterest were 'having a moment' (humble brag there, rest assured things have died down) so then I set myself new goals. I set myself the goal of increasing my pageviews five times over, a reasonable goal for the last 5 months of the year I thought. Until I hit it on July 31st, just 30 days after setting it. My blogs pageviews are currently more than doubling month on month at the moment and I hit the goal I wanted to achieve by January, before it has even got to August. I have come to the conclusion now that actually I have no fucking idea what my blog is doing at the moment and whether this trend is set to continue (yes please) so I have decided not to set myself any targets for the rest of the year. I am still working on the social media goals I haven't yet hit but blog wise, ima just let it do it's thang and then maybe set new goals for 2017.
12. My Guest Blogging Beauties.
I had to end here didn't I? My absolute favourite thing about July was obviously my guest bloggers. This bunch of (technically 18) girls saved my ass and kept my blog running for me whilst I was away. For 17 days I had the most varied content this blog has ever seen and some things it'll probably never see again (hello proper good beauty reviews). Each one of them worked with me for a month before hand sending me content, answering my emails, sending me photos and social media links and putting up with me nagging when it came to the last week. And then when they'd already done all of that they promoted the blog event, they shouted about what they'd done and they supported everyone else who took part. Just bear in mind I actually only know 2 of the girls IRL and they are the two NOT on Twitter and I think the magnitude of the task of getting them all together becomes real. You were all the absolute dream to work with and I genuinely cannot thank you all enough for answering my call out tweet for volunteers, for working with me, for wanting to get involved, for writing such hilarious, poignant, self deprecating, wonderful, professional content and if I could come meet you all and give you a huuuuuge hug for being such mega babes I would. Thank you thank you thank you.
You can see who posted for me below and find their posts all over my blog.
See you next week for a more traditional Friday Favs!