We’re back! What has (and hasn’t) changed with me and the blog | #anFword is Change #5
We’re back! What has (and hasn’t) changed with me and the blog | #anFword is Change #5
If Last year was the year it all changed. This year is the year I changed it all
Hi again and so sorry it’s been so long.
I needed to take some time out and I’m glad I did, so I’m sort of not sorry! I do realise that I should have probably said something sooner, but in all honesty, I didn’t expect to be away this long! So, first off, I apologise for that!
Where have I been? Well….I’ll be sharing more on the personal challenges and wins I’ve had some of the tools and things I’ve learned. In fact, that’s one of the biggest changes you’ll see around here. You know I love fashion, makeup, cosmetics, travel and fitness, but I have always been an advocate for wellbeing. By that I mean every part – especially mental health.
So, there will be more of that content in between the usual things I love – because that’s the point – living well is about taking care of your mind and body and learning to do more of the things you love.
So, that’s what I’ve been doing.
I’m using this post to bring back #anFword and take you through some of the life, work and blog related changes I’ve had and that are still to come! And, also what hasn’t changed, because not everything has to.
Consistently Inconsistent? Time for a change
I know it’s important as a blogger to be consistent – I hear it everyday (consistently, in fact!), but at the same time, this little space is still my hobby and when I’m juggling two jobs and being a single mum/co parent to a three year old, as much as I love this space and the creativity it allows me, sometimes something has to give.
I’ll get better at that consistency thing.
This break, or at least how long it’s been wasn’t really intentional, it sort of happened because it needed to. The longer I spent away, the more I felt I was getting my life and this blog organised behind the scenes. Then the more I was feeling that creative buzz again!
Life and personal changes
Making time for what matters
One of the things I looked back on last year that I wanted to change was not taking time to just live. Remember the post on why I don’t wear a watch. It’s still relevant and something that rings true (Spoiler: It’s not because I don’t like them). But, last year, I worked myself into the ground and the summer went by in a blur of commuting 4+ hours a day and long, stressful days in the office. I missed spending so much quality time with my family and friends and cried so much about it that I knew I couldn’t let that happen again.
I had to leave that job because if I didn’t I would have had a breakdown – and I don’t say that lightly! The positive result was that I changed my hours at work and started working less days, with longer hours and was reminded that working less days doesn’t mean less work! This makes sure I can still pay the bills, maintain my career and do more towards my future goals.
Balancing work and life
But, the happiest result is I can spend more of that all important quality time with B.
He started pre school recently (how.has.this.happened?!), which meant I started posting less on social media and on here to adjust to our new routine.
Then I ended up in hospital again and I was devastated! I have been so careful since I had my emergency ventral hernia surgery last year, then there was a lump on my stomach again. Back on the ward and lots of tests, back and forth until it was confirmed a few weeks later as a benign lump that will resolve itself eventually. After that it was more important than ever to focus on my physical health.
Career change : Becoming a fitness instructor and brand ambassador
I mentioned working on my future goals and although I still have my day job, big things have happened in my other career goals: I now also work as a Clubbercise instructor and I’m now a brand ambassador for the fitness brand Just Strong (you can see me on their Instagram if you scroll down a lot!) and you can get a discount with my code KITTYANDB10. Both are companies that have the ethos of inspiring and empowering women at their core. And so do I! You know fitness and wellbeing are things that are really important to me, so these changes have been amazing and I have the blog to thank in part for motivating me and opening up the opportunities.
Getting rid of negativity
At the start of the year, I realised that I had managed to collect some negative energy. It was draining me and bringing me down. I decided that instead of constantly trying to excuse it, I just needed to get rid of it.
I started to look really closely at all the aspects of my life and then pinpointed the negative things that I could change and just simply got rid of them! Ok, that sounds ominous. What I mean is, I got rid of the toxic ‘friendships/relationships’ by ending contact and/or blocking on social media. No build up, no big declaration (enough words had been said). I just did it.
And I felt almost immediately better!
Being thankful for the positive
Along with that, I’ve been spending more time with the people I do want in my life. It can be lonely out here in the sticks, so, where I can I’ve been spending time with friends and family, catching up, drinking, and laughing a lot. I’m still generally a hermit, but I am getting out more. And I still have so many other friends I need to reconnect with and visit and that gives me lots to look forward to!
Sometimes it’s too easy to focus on a few negative things and let them overshadow (I won’t say outshine) the positive. It takes time to realign that thinking, but I am working on it. More on that on the way.
Tell me about your blogging niche, Kat?
What’s your niche? What’s your USP? Questions that any article about blogging will force you to answer. And I do think rightly so.
Do I really have to have one?
I see the blog as evolving in the same way I have as time has gone on. I was really uncomfortable from the beginning about actually being on the blog, but I’ve worked on was getting more comfortable in front of the camera and sharing photos of little old me (remember the post learning to love my #selfie? ). But what I wasn’t comfortable about was my B being on here and on social media (I don’t even post him on my personal accounts). So, I didn’t really consider myself a ‘Mummy blogger’. More, a mum who blogs, if that’s different?
That’s also because my main focus on here isn’t motherhood or parenting. Yes, I talk about my journey to single motherhood and I enjoy sharing things that B loves and wears and I’ll continue to share that content, but I still feel the same as I did from the start – I don’t really want him to feature much on here or on my socials. So, does that in itself counts me out of being a mummy blogger anyway..?
I don’t know.
I do know it is easier to label genres of blog, so shall I just stick with lifestyle, because in general I talk about life and style? Ta-da!
Whose blog is it anyway?
Alongside the whole niche matter has been the pressure to work with brands and ‘monetise’ content, but it was all making me feel a bit disillusioned and was taking the fun out of blogging.
This wasn’t what I set out to do. In fact, I never knew you could make money from blogging when I started. That was something I only learned down the line. It was a hobby and a creative outlet. I wanted to use it as my way of learning new skills and keeping my existing skills up to date whilst I was on maternity leave. At the back of my mind, I also liked the thought of creating the content that I’d always wanted to as a teenager with the dream of being the editor of Vogue!
But the more the pressure I felt to pull in social media figures and make money, the less I loved it.
The business of blogging
In 3 years of blogging (yes, 3!), I have actually never done a paid collaboration. This is not something to be necessarily proud of. I always support fellow bloggers when they do paid collaborations – I think it’s brilliant and want to give my support for what they’ve achieved! For me, it’s primarily down to me not really knowing the value of what I do and not knowing what price to put on it, so just not doing it! Stupid really.
As you know, I have some affiliations (that I earn a few pence from!) and have received products to review for free, but I’ve turned down 100x more than have been on here. I have only chosen brands and items I’ve been really interested in and thought you would be too. To be honest, it’s a win win – blogging ain’t cheap!
Anything else, if I haven’t declared it as gifted, is bought with my own money and shared because I enjoyed and wanted to share.
I would like to take it more seriously and generate more income, to give myself and B more flexibility and a better life. So, that might start happening. If it does, it will be with brands that fit with what I believe in and think you will too. And, I will, of course, let you know!
What’s changed at Kitty and B
There’s more of the same, just better!
I want to give back and share more of my mental health journey in the hopes of helping others. As I said, mental fitness is just as important to me as physical fitness. And there will be more of the fitness and wellbeing posts here and on Instagram
But, as I said, that will be together with all the main players. I love doing reviews of products, clothing everything and I do have a tendency to get carried away. But, yes, there will be more fashion, (or should I say, style?) and beauty (that will be cruelty free only).
There will also be a lot more video content to show you how things really look. I love creating and editing video and I do it a lot offline, too. In fact, I even did my sister’s wedding video. I loved putting together the relaunch/promo video. Editing is my happy, nerdy place. So, I’ve been spending a lot of time behind the scenes filming and editing, which I really hope you’ll enjoy!
Incoming: Home, Video, Wellbeing and Cruelty free Beauty content
Also, there will be some interiors/home posts. I am still working on our house – buying furniture, art, accessories etc, so I figured that I might as well put all those hours spent on our Pinterest and scouring the net for home decor inspiration and products to good use!
I’ll be honest with you, the blog doesn’t yet look exactly how I wanted it to, but I can do that as I go along. I’ve done enough tinkering behind the scenes, it’s time to get posting.
Anyway, perfection is overrated!
I am still happy with where it is now and that’s a huge change for me mentally!
What hasn’t changed at Kitty and B
I can’t commit to posting on social media everyday. I’ll do as much as my life allows, but I also won’t beat myself up if I can’t be on it everyday anymore. And, in fact, taking a break has been amazing and has meant I have more to post! So, apologies in advance if there’s been or is a delay in getting back to messages. I do try to prioritise answering them over posting.
- I still don’t have a blog schedule. I’ve realised that it’s something I can’t commit to and do everything. Well. I can’t do everything well. Nor should I try. But, I am working towards that.
- All this reflection hasn’t made me a perfect person that knows everything and wakes up happy everyday. But, I am happier and I do want to share with you tips that are helping.
- I still have a backlog of posts and photos, because I just love taking photos. But, they are coming!
- I still only share what I like and what I genuinely believe in – paid, gifted or not.
- My priorities are being a good mum, being mentally healthy, and passing on the positive.
- I still haven’t reached a specific niche, but I’m happy to keep posting and watch that evolve organically.
So, here I am. A refreshed blog. Just me sharing more of the things I hope you’ll love and that will inspire you. Feel free to make suggestions for content and thanks so much for reading. It means so much!