I still haven’t worked out who I want to be or what I want to do when I grow up, so on this blog please join me while I try and work it out while keeping child-like creativity alive!  Find home and fashion inspiration; travel and days out; photography, writing and more. Have fun looking around 🙂

 

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British lifestyle blogger
Fourteen years of blogging – why do I do it?
April 7, 2018
Happy Birthday When I Grow Up blog! Yes, if you can be bothered, you can click on the ‘Archives’ button over there on the right and see my first feeble offerings beginning on the 7th April 2004. I don’t know anyone who’s been blogging that long! We didn’t even own a digital camera then, so none of the posts have photos to go with them for a while! Many people talk about needing a creative outlet as their reason why they started a blog. Well fourteen years ago I had recently done my A-level Art and was on my second year of a part-time degree in Creative Writing with a novel about to be published; so I can’t really site that as my reason. My kids were eight and five, but ‘Mummy blogging’ wasn’t yet a thing, let alone a thing that occurred to me to want to do, so talking about parenting wasn’t my impetus either. At the end of the day, I suppose it all boils down to the simple love of writing…..
YouTube new requirements
Being demoted back to work-experience girl by YouTube
January 18, 2018
I’ve been showing up to work at YouTube for close to three years now on a part-time basis. I didn’t start doing it for the money and I didn’t expect to get paid to begin with. I did it for the chance to get my name out there and reach people who might be interested in reading my blog or purchasing clothing from Threads of a Fairytale and hopefully entertain everyone along the way. I didn’t realise quite how much of my life it was going to consume. Each video takes a minimum of two hours to edit; and the longer ones such as travel vlogs; well that can be up to ten hours. It’s a lonely hard slog. Filming can take anything from half an hour for a quick sit-down and chat video (plus the time it takes to put on make-up, tidy up around me and sort out lighting) to several hours over a period of weeks for the more in-depth ones. Then there’s the head-space vlogging takes up – working out how you’re going to tell the story of your day; remembering all the little transition shots; giving a good blend of talking and showing; making sure there’s a comfortable mix of slow and fast pace to the video etc. It was a joy to get to the point where YouTube started to pay me a little money – maybe enough to get the bus to work and go halves on a coffee once a week. It’s not much at all, but it’s a little recognition of how hard you’re working and you start to see a little opportunity – a glimmer of hope that there might be some financial reward for your efforts. And then I received an e-mail from YouTube this morning telling me they are going to take this away…..
choosing a word to live by
Choosing a word to live by in 2018
January 12, 2018
I’ve heard of this erm…what would you call it?…A theory? A challenge? An idea? I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve heard of this thing before, where you choose a word to guide you for the coming year. It’s a word you go to if you’re stuck; not sure which decision or choice to make; to inspire you; to basically help you out when you’re not sure where to turn or what to do. I’ve previously thought this wasn’t really an idea for me – I’m too haphazard and never really know where I’m heading or what is going to be important to me in the months ahead. However, this December I took part in the Instagram challenge set by Emily Quinton at Makelight, in which she set us the task to plan our word for 2018. Surprisingly, it didn’t take me long to think of mine…
blogger event advice
How to go to a blogging event as a shy introvert. My Next Blogger Network event experience
December 5, 2017
I recently went to the Next Blogger Network event in Shoreditch in London, and I’ll be honest, it’s one of the most scary things for me I’ve ever done! The week leading up to the event was spent either putting it to the back of my mind and pretending it wasn’t happening, or feeling so worried I got a massive ulcer on the inside of my cheek! However, I knew once I’d forked out the money for the train fare, I would have to go, so I went ahead and did that first so I couldn’t change my mind! In the end, I feel it was a very successful day and I’ve come away from the event feeling very proud of myself and ready to go out and find another blogging event to go to! Here’s how I managed it…..
blogtober blogging advice
5 excuses not to do Blogtober this year – Blogging advice
October 2, 2017
Are you a blogger and feeling the pressure to take part in Blogtober? (ie publishing a blog post every day for the month of October.) Well worry no more; I have five good reasons why you shouldn’t do it! You don’t have the time. No seriously, you probably don’t. Unless you’re my friend Kathryn, who, in the space of twenty minutes at our village writers’ group, can write a well written, fully plotted short story of about two thousand words; or you’re that girl who put her hand up for seven extra sheets of paper during her GCSE English exam, really think about how long it takes you to write a blog post. Particularly if this isn’t your full-time gig and you’re also doing a ‘proper’ job and/or looking after a family. Unless you’ve been planning Blogtober for a while and have a stash of posts ready to go in advance; when exactly are you going to do all this extra work?…..
Oshun dress
Cultural Appropriation in Fashion. Should it really matter?
September 7, 2017
  If you know me, then you’ll know I am a person who happily trundles on in life, getting on with things as pleasantly as I can, doing as much as possible to avoid drama or confrontation. However, I think someone linked to a blog post I wrote over year ago, as I’ve come back from holiday to a flurry of angry comments on the post called OSHUN – THE STORY OF MY CLOTHING BRAND, AND THE YELLOW DRESS INSPIRED BY BEYONCE’S IN LEMONADE. I thought I would respond to those comments in a blog post, rather than reply to them individually, as hopefully I will explain myself and my opinions in a more complete and thought-through way. So to understand what I’m about to talk about, you might want to have a look at that post first and have a read of the recent comments below it. In summary though, it was written at a time when Beyonce appeared to be channeling the ancient African deity, Oshun, so I wrote a bit about her for those who hadn’t heard of her before, and explained how I came to choose her to name my clothing business and a dress after. I wrote a brief message a couple of days ago addressing this on my Threads of a Fairytale website, and if you don’t mind, I’ll quote it now as an introduction: “Hello! I’m back from holiday and had a wonderful time exploring the Acropolis and other ancient remains and ruins around Greece and Albania and have come home full of inspiration. Three new goddess dresses influenced in design by ancient Greek attire will be appearing in the Threads of a Fairytale shop very soon – one in pink, one gold, and one in a mottled green and grey – all pure silk chiffon. I will continue to be inspired by religions and cultures from all around the world; ancient and modern, because that’s the way art grows, develops and nourishes one’s soul and interest. The term “cultural appropriation” seems to be more in fashion than fashion itself at the moment….If you’re a regular visitor to this page, you’ll know that I changed my clothing business name from Oshun to Threads of a Fairytale a couple of months ago and explained my reasons here. And no, the change had nothing to do with cultural appropriation because I’m sorry, I simply don’t agree that it’s a problem here. We have been influenced by our neighbours of all colours and heritage since time began and I think that’s a wonderful thing. Segregating oneself and not allowing this to happen comes from a place of ego, not from a place of good”. If you are going to comment here or on facebook (or anywhere), I would appreciate it if you take the time to read this whole piece to fully understand where I’m coming from, and hopefully even take a minute to think about some of my points. I haven’t written this to try to get anyone to change their opinions – of course we’re not all going to agree, but I want to say at the beginning that I have listened to your comments; looked into them further, and really given it some thought from all points of view before writing this……
jealousy of bloggers
An admission of jealousy of other bloggers
June 15, 2017
Have you ever noticed how it’s generally successful people who advise you not to compare yourself with others? I hear it a lot lately and it’s really annoying me! When I hear someone with a hundred and seventy thousand Instagram followers and a blog with an income good enough to support their family, spout quotes on their popular podcast such as “Comparison is the thief of joy”, do I think, Oh yes, that’s really good advice, thank you for that? No I do not. I swear out loud and stick two fingers up at my computer. I hesitated as to whether to share this horrible, ugly side of my personality here, but then I thought, Sod It, no-one’s reading this anyway(!)….
Dealing with the post
Adulting: A series of things I should’ve learned by now – Dealing with the post
April 9, 2017
This is my second blog post in my series about adulting. Just because I’m nearly forty; doesn’t mean I’m any good at it! This time I’m talking about the stuff that comes through the letter box. I dread it with a passion. Unless I’ve bought something from ebay, I am so happy when the post van drives on past! It’s not so bad if the post-person brings it round to the back porch, because that means there’s a parcel, which is quite exciting. However, apart from postcards from my parents, there really is nothing good about the letters that fall on the damp stone floor in our hallway. I’ll do everything in my power to pretend they’re not there….
I knew I should never have given her that fifty pounds
March 19, 2017
It was one of those freezing cold miserable January days. Everyone is depressed because the fun of Christmas is over and cold and flu bugs are going around everywhere and it was no wonder I’d caught it too. There was no-one at work to cover for me, so I trudged in, coat and scarf wrapped around me, and hoped I wasn’t on the perfume till near the door. My manager took pity on me and gave me the best spot at the back and near the heater. Amy must have forgotten I work at Boots on Mondays. Or perhaps she didn’t know – my shifts do change around a bit. Anyway, I spotted her browsing over the other side and I admit, my attention wasn’t wholly on my customers. She was at the makeup aisles for three-quarters of an hour! Has she not got anything better to do? She swatched lipsticks and tested eye-shadows and I couldn’t believe it when I saw her take a basket of expensive make-up to the tills on the other side. I knew I should never have given her that fifty pounds. It isn’t like I’m rich; it isn’t like I wouldn’t like to spend fifty quid on make-up for myself. How dare she?…..
How to write a novel – the practicalities of notes
February 17, 2017
In January, a lot people who feel they have a novel in them make it their resolution to get it written; so I thought now would be a good time to write this blog post at it might be helpful. I am currently writing my fourth book (only one published (so far!)) and I think I’ve finally worked out the best way to go about organising my work. This is what suits me the most, so will probably not be helpful to anyone who’s all modern and does everything on the computer, or even on your phone. I’m a long-hand kind-of gal and so notebooks have always featured rather heavily in my writing planning. However this time is slightly different….