Powered by Blogger.

WHAT HAVE I LEARNT FROM BLOGGING? ONE YEAR ON.







So All That B turned one last week and unlike so many other bloggers I decided not to do a blog birthday giveaway, sorry not sorry.
Instead I wanted to reflect on everything that I have learnt from blogging and about the blogging community during my short time as a blogger.
It hasn't always been easy but it certainly has never been a chore or a hardship to be involved in.
One year ago I was in a very different place in my life and I was struggling to find a way to improve my mental state and just didn't see how my life was going to improve or how I was ever going to survive the depression and anxiety that was increasingly eating me up from the inside, out.
One year on and I am a complete shadow of my former self, now I wouldn't say I am completely cured, I don't think depression/anxiety ever leaves people who suffer from it. It just gets easier to manage as you find things that successfully distract you. I feel like all the bad feelings and thoughts are so much weaker now and only come out once every blue moon and my positive vibes are so much stronger and take centre stage, it feels SO good.
Blogging has made a HUGE contribution to the rise of my positive feels, it has given me back my voice & my personality, for that I am SO grateful.
I really want to thank every single one of you who read my blog & follow me on social media, or should I say put up with me on social media? Your continued support surprises me every single day, I never thought I would find my happiness again and you are a huge part of helping me achieve it, so thank you, thank you, thank you.
SO WHAT HAVE I LEARNT FROM ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING?

1. The blogging community is AHHH-MAZING. I have made some friends for life through blogging and I am really excited to get to meet them all, hopefully this year. This community is so supportive and loving, I just can't even deal sometimes with how nice some people are and it's one of the reasons I continue to blog. Yes, there are some proper dickheads (classy reference there Rebekka!) that I have also crossed paths with on this journey but you get that with everything in life, not everything can be sunshine and lollipops at all times, it's as false as the bloggers who preach it. The best thing about the blogging community is that it's okay not to be okay and people will support you and advise you in any way that they can and for that reason, I will forever remain part of this community.

2. It's not all about goody bags and freebies, let's face it, everyone does LOVE a goody bag, we can't lie about that. However, as cliche as it sounds I get more satisfaction out of a post that gets thousands of views and great feedback than I do out of a free skincare sample. When you're a new blogger and you get inundated with offers of freebies it's hard to say no, but really after a while it's not that great. You are investing time and your reputation into your posts do you really want to be known as the blogger who writes for a 5ml sample of skincare or a free dress from a low budget boutique. Nobody cares about that. I now only except freebies for posts if I would actually purchase the product myself and I know that my readers would be interested in them. I have wrote ONE post that was sponsored by a freebie in the post and it was something I use all the time and would genuinely recommend purchasing to my best friends, let alone my readers. One of the biggest lessons I have learnt is to recognise my self worth and what I believe my blogs worth to be and I swear by reminding myself every time I open an email from a brand.

3. I am the worst photographer in the world, you may or may not have noticed but it's my biggest vulnerability in my work and I bloody hate it. I am so embarrassed by how terrible I am at this and I am learning new things every single day about lighting and about how much work people put into their blog photo's compared to me. I often just feel like a fraud, I take pictures with my iPhone and I take my pictures any time of the day. My lack of knowledge and relevant equipment annoys me and it's one of my goals for this year to really improve my photo content, so watch this space.

4. Blogging isn't as simple as it sounds, it is REALLY hard work. It pisses me off, massively, when people say to me "so what you get freebies and then you just write about them?" People don't even realise the work that goes into blogging from spending half my life on social media making sure I am staying relevant, brand consistent and getting involved with blog chats. You then have to take the perfect photo for your blog post that can take HOURS to achieve. You have to be constantly thinking up good, readable content and yes it's not as hard as working on a building site, physically, but you work all hours of the day, whenever you can fit it in really. It sounds like I'm moaning, don't get me wrong it's tough to maintain but I love my blog and my career so it's worth every second.

5. People who blog and don't want to be successful from it financially are liars, everyone is trying to make money and we always want more and I want exactly that. I mean I would still write even if there was no money to be made but there's not a blogger who out there who isn't trying to write the next viral post and become the next big blogger. I have learnt that my time and my blog is worth being paid for and if I could ever do this full time, life would be pretty sweet.

6. Building a blog is not an overnight process and it takes a long time to build readership and followers. If you're lucky enough to go viral and get 100K twitter followers in a week, then well done you, but it's not realistic and it doesn't happen like that in reality. I am still learning so much even after 12 months of blogging. I still know very little when it comes to this extensive business, but I love that and I embrace that I am learning new skills every single day.


7. Lastly, I have learnt so much about myself thanks to blogging. Blogging has given me a new life and opened doors for me that were padlocked shut 1 year ago. It has bought out my ambitious and creative streak and built my confidence back up to where it should be. I still have bad days but when I do I focus on an area of my brand that needs attention and just like that I am back to Rebekka again. The only thing I regret is not starting my blog sooner, I was born to do this, I know that now, and I am so glad it didn't take me another year longer to get the courage to start a blog.


I hope you have enjoyed this post and will continue to enjoy my blog long into 2016 and beyond. I have so many exciting things planned for this year so make sure you are following me on either social media or following my blog, thank you again for your support!!




JANUARY PAYDAY WISHLIST


I HATE JANUARY SO MUCH!!
There's all the stress of getting back into a routine after Christmas, being horrendously skint and feeling the pressure of the  'new year, new me' bullshit is unreal. 
I will be so glad to see the back of it to be completely honest, although, I am really excited for the future and the year ahead, we have lots of big plans as a family and I have some huge personal goals I want to achieve. This month all I have been thinking about is shopping, all I want to do is buy new pretty things to make me feel better about being constantly rained on and braving the freezing mornings for work. So I am going to pamper myself a little at the end of this month, I have booked a week off work and I am going to go for nice lunches with my girlfriends, get chores done that I have been putting off and get lots of grooming time in too! 
Today's post is my January Payday Wishlist, I haven't done one of these posts in a while simply because I haven't bought for myself in SO long it's untrue, due to Christmas. So be prepared with a luxury filled wishlist with a touch of practicality, just a touch. 





Don't get me wrong my signature foundation will always be Soap & Glory One Heck Of A Blot, however if you wear that foundation you know it's quite thick and is a heavy full coverage foundation more suitable for big nights out rather than everyday wear. I am on the search for a full coverage foundation with a bit more breathe and I can honestly say other than Collection 2000 lasting perfection foundation, finding the right foundation for me has been testing. I feel like the high street just don't cut it when it comes to foundation and that's so disappointing, alas high end make up will always be the ultimate luxury for me.
From the reviews I have read this Charlotte Tilbury foundation gives the finish that One Heck Of A Blot does but with a bit more of a lightweight feel, I am so excited about this purchase!



So if you follow me on twitter you will know I have started to really take notice of the fact that my unhealthy weight has spiralled out of control and I am taking positive steps to change that. I am more determined than ever and my mentality towards changing for the sake of my health is better than it's ever been before. I have just bought Charlotte's 3 minute belly blitz after hearing AMAZING things about it and I am really determined to follow it to the letter, 4 times a week. A great way to enhance your workout is with weighted gloves, so this will be a payday purchase I am really excited about. I can't wait to see the changes to my body and health, watch this space for much more on my developments as they happen!



Right now I am just using a few high street products to perfect my contour and that's going well for me, however since I am having a little spree and a little pamper session, buying this contour kit is on the top of my list. There's not much to say about this product as it's pretty self explanatory why I am buying it. It was a toss up between this and Contour Cosmetics Contour 2 Palette, if you have tried both let me know if I am making the wrong choice! 




Khloe Kardashian is on fire at the moment, physically, but she has always been the best Kardashian by miles. She is the one I think is the most 'human' out of the three sisters and I have always admired her in light or her success and her fails. I really, really, really wanted this book for Christmas and made that known, often, alas nobody got me it! So when I go to do my food shop this month I will be picking this up on the way round Tesco. 
Ever since I started my road to recovery from post natal depression, I have found being more mindful and working on my PMA (positive mental attitude) SO fulfilling and has really helped me to create some of the successes I have achieved to date. I am so into being inspired and challenging my way of thinking, which I know Khloe is a huge believer of. I am so excited to read this book and find out just how she has controlled her mentality to achieve the incredible results both physically and personally.




 Now I am not someone who craves eyeshadow palettes very often, but this palette has shades for days that I would use SO much. I have heard so many good things about the pigmenting and the intenseness of the shades. As someone with hazel eyes I feel like these colours are perfect for everyday wear and building a more dramatic look, they're so versatile and I think that this would be a great investment for my makeup collection.


Nike Flex Ladies Trainers, Sports Direct £41.00

Again, if you follow me on Twitter you will know since I have been becoming more conscious of my weight and fitness I religiously walk 5 miles to and from work three times a week and it is killer in my primark pumps, I mean I am going through shoes like 3 pairs a month because they just can't handle it. I wear office attire and a long faux leather sleeved camel trench coat on my commute so wearing trainers is a fashion faux pas. Saying that I am becoming more inclined to purchase some discreet trainers to walk in that will enhance the walk. If any of you have any suggestions on fashionable office footwear that will also nurture my hike to work, leave me a comment!




I hope you have enjoyed my payday wishlist, it's been the first in a long time, let me know what you will be treating yourself to on this long awaited payday in the comments below!
Rebekka x

5 WAYS TO EAT WELL WHEN YOU'RE SKINT & HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON FOOD.



So it's January and to say the Arnold/Terrett household is skint is an UNDERSTATEMENT
Why, oh why do I overindulge at Christmas?! I do this every single year and by the end of the first week of January I am crying into my empty fridge accompanied by a pile of overdue bills. When it comes to Christmas my common sense just flies out of the window, spending hundreds on food I will never eat and increasing the quantity of presents that Harper will have destroyed or long forgotten about by the end of January. 
So here we are on the 5th of January and we're not living like the kings we once were, so I have spent my last day off looking for recipes that will fill us up and be relatively healthy too so that we can still achieve the healthier lifestyle we are trying to adopt. 
It suddenly dawned on me that I am definitely not the only one in this boat, in fact I get the feeling that this boat is a little overcrowded, full of people all feel the sting of January at one point or another. So this post is for all of you out there who are struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel this week, WE CAN DO THIS!


1. EGGS ARE EVERYTHING.



Not only are eggs loaded with vitamins, minerals and are often referred to as a brain food, they are super cheap and SUPER versatile. You can just about throw anything into a 2 egg omelette and it will fill you up for ages! 
Here are some EGGcellent meals I like to make:
Cheese & Mushroom Omelette - as simple as it gets but a great breakfast or lunch idea that you can cook in less than 10 minutes and will fill you up until lunch or dinner time.
Egg Fried Rice - simply cook up a 2 egg omelette (per 2 servings) and then chop into tiny pieces, buy yourself a box of boil in a bag rices for no more than £1.50, boil up a bag per person and mix in the chopped egg to make your very own egg fried rice!
Egg Mayo Salad/Sandwiches - Buy yourself a pack of 6 free range eggs for roughly £1.50 - £2, a loaf of bread from as little as 50 pence & a bag of mixed leaf salad for £1 (LOOK FOR OFFERS) and boil ALL the eggs, yes ALL of them for around 10 minutes until they are hard boiled. Peel off the shell, mush them up in a bowl, add a dollop of mayo and either serve them on a bed of mixed leaf salad OR prepare yourself egg mayo salad sandwiches for work OR do both!


2. PASTA IS YOUR PAL

Slimming Worldies all over know how powerful pasta is and just like eggs,  how versatile it can be. Pasta is the holy grail of carbs and is often overlooked as a 'healthy food' because of this! As with everything, pasta should be enjoyed in moderation but is actually full of extremely useful nutrients and is a bit of a do-gooder when it comes to stumping weight gain due to it's ability to fill you up for longer than most other carbs.
Here are some pasta dishes that stop me from snacking.
Tuna Pasta Bake - It doesn't get much cheaper than this whilst still providing you with a tasty & filling meal. My homemade pasta bake costs less than £8 to make (serves 4-6) and I still have enough leftover for work the next day, all you need is dried pasta shells for as little as 30p a bag, tinned tuna, tomatoes, passata, puree and dried herbs. 
Spaghetti & Meatballs - Again horrendously cheap and simple to make, using tins that are already in the average cupboard you can make an awesome sauce with a kick, get creative! 


3. PASSION FOR POTATOES



Potatoes are another super cheap and super versatile food that if eaten in moderation and cooked well are an absolute asset to a healthy diet and lifestyle. You can do and add almost anything to potatoes that result in a delicious meal for the whole family. They also last FOREVER by the way, especially if you buy them in a big brown paper bags, the darker their environment the better, stored correctly they can last for up to a month.
Here are a few meals I like to make with potatoes
Jacket Potatoes with Philadelphia and Baked Beans - Philadelphia is always on offer and is a great little ingredient to many meals. When I have had a long day at work and can't be bothered to cook I just pierce some potatoes, pop them in the microwave for 10 minutes and then oven bake for 40 minutes. My favourite filling is Philadelphia with beans, after around 30 minutes in the oven I take the potatoes out split them in half, scoop out the filling into a bowl and mix in some chive & garlic Philadelphia. I then fill the jackets back up and continue to bake for 10 - 15 mins and then top with beans. 
Syn Free Chips - The perfect side dish to any meal, all the Slimming Worldies out there thank you for these! I peel and slice my potatoes into wedges, boil on the hob for around 8 minutes. I then drain them and leave them to stand for about 10 minutes, give them a shake & fluff them up and pour them into a baking tin sprayed all over with Fry Light. Bake for 35 mins adding garlic salt and mixed dried herbs half way through. 


4. MINCE IS YOUR MATE

Before I was with Justin I did not eat red meat, AT ALL, but as the years have gone by I have become more open to the idea that it's not as gross as it looks when it's raw. If you're going to eat mince and you're adopting a healthier lifestyle do not settle for anything less than steak mince at least 20% or less fat. Iceland do a great deal on steak mince 2 packs of 15% fat mince for £5, what a bargain!! I love to bulk buy mince and freeze it on the day of purchase, it's so easy to make a meal out of and tastes delicious even when frozen for a week or two.
My fave mince meals are
LETTUCE TACOS - All you need is a head of lettuce, a red and green pepper, a taco seasoning mix and 500g of mince to make them which is less than £8 for a serving for 4-6 people!! They're light and a great alternative to the traditional taco. Add salsa and sour cream for a little kick
CHILLI - Chilli should've had a section all to itself because you can make a tonne of it and still create lots of different meals out of it, that can be with jacket potatoes, wedges, rice or you could even make chilli burritos with some wholemeal wraps the potential is endless, so get creative and save yourself some money with chilli. 
BOLOGNESE BAKE - Using the same sauce base as I used for the tuna pasta bake, just adding some garlic salt. You can't go wrong and is great for bulk cooking and freezing for future meals.

5. LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS!



Nothing rattles my cage more than throwing perfectly good food way and the average british household are wasting thousands a year doing so! It's times like these that I realise how bloody wasteful I can be so I have started educating myself about freezing and cooking in bulk for our lunches at work. I refuse to waste anymore money on meal deals from the co-op on the way to work, not only are they unhealthy they are burning an unnecessary hole in my pocket!! 
Here are a few meals I bulk cook and take to work/freeze
- Any kind of pasta bake
- Curries 
- Leftover meat from Sunday roast can make millions of different meals, they are the base of at least 2 meals a week in my household. For instance with a roast chicken, I make chicken salad sandwiches for work on the Monday and either a pasta bake or a soup. I usually add beef and pork to stir fries which I make in bulk and eat for work on colder days. 
- Jacket Potatoes! I usually cook like 6 at a time, 2 for dinner and then freeze the other 4 to take to work. You then only need to microwave for 5 minutes to get the same fresh taste you would get from the oven. 

MY TOP TIPS & TRICKS FOR SAVING MONEY WHEN BUYING FOOD


- Buy your meat from MUSCLEFOOD, they have great offers every single day that get sent straight to your inbox and do lots of different bundles that can keep you going for over a month, we spend about £70 and get enough chicken and meat to eat so well for both lunch and dinner. The quality of the meat and poultry is next to none, you will never ever buy your meat from a supermarket again! Get yourself over to http://www.musclefood.com/RA191194 to recieve some free items with your first order!
- Go and buy your fruit and veg from your local market, greengrocer or wholesaler. It's a no brainer really, not only are you helping local business and buying local produce, it's fresher and you can get at least 3 times more for your money than you would from your supermarket. I also find that fresh, local produce I buy from the market stays fresh for a lot longer than when I buy from the supermarket. It's SO important to support your local business and with these points made there's absolutely NO reason why you wouldn't.
- Stock up on everyday ingredients on payday. I'm talking about your tins of tuna, tomatoes and sweetcorn, herbs & spices and pastas/sundries. This way throughout the month you can do your short shelf life's on a weekly basis and when it nears the dreaded week before payday you will have staples in that can create a meal out of what seems like nothing!


This post is only scratching the surface with what you can achieve even on a very basic budget. I have been using Pinterest to find recipes and inspiration the last week or so, and it has really helped. I am confident you will find something for even the pickiest tastes. Pinterest is so underrated and it really has a wealth of excellent ways to budget and get through January so check it out and make sure you're following me for lots & lots of ways to budget - www.pinterest.com/allthatbekka










6 APPS FOR A PRODUCTIVE NEW YEAR





MY NAME IS REBEKKA AND I AM OBSESSED WITH MY iPHONE
I don't even think I am ashamed to admit it either, my iPhone is my baby and it is one of the most important tools for productivity when it comes to working on my brand and on my blog as well as organising my personal and social life too, with everything from cooking games to health and fertility apps, I don't think I could live without it. 
Today's post is all about my top ten apps for kickstarting your motivation and productivity in the new year with not only blogging tools but personal apps to look after YOU too.


FITBIT
Better known for their watches that were on EVERYONE'S Christmas lists, FITBIT have released an app that you can either link up to your FITBIT device OR use solely to track your movement, calories, exercise and fitness goals. I am finding it very useful as I start easing myself into a healthy new lifestyle that I am long overdue starting. The fitbit app asks for your weight, height and weight loss goals to calculate the amount of calories you need to eat and exercise you will need to do to get to your weight loss goal in your specified amount of time. It's a great little tool that I would recommend to anyone it's so easy to use and extremely modern and simplistic in that sense, it's free to download too, so what are you waiting for?



AFTERLIGHT

A fellow blogger introduced me to this photo editing app and it is INSANE! I have tried every single photo editor the app store has to offer and nothing quite did it for me. Afterlight allows you to tweak every single element of your photos which gives you ultimate control and creativity.
I never really got into Instagram, but this app is the perfect tool to make your pictures stand out and works SO well with Instagram that I find myself actively looking for things to photograph just so I can edit them with this fantastic app.



WE HEART IT

Are you looking for some inspiration or maybe a motivational quote? If so, WE HEART IT is the one for you. It is a photo sharing app that allows it's users to upload pictures from all over the corners of the internet to share in a timeline of beautiful images. Mostly coming from TUMBLR when I need some inspiration for taking blog or Instagram photos I go to this app and check out other people's set ups and insane creativity when it comes to photography, something I definitely lack.
BEWARE this app is full of pictures that will make you envious of everything photographed, I often look through the fitness and health section and die a little inside, just so you know.


WUNDERLIST
Wunderlist is the ultimate task manager that I now couldn't live without. I have been looking for an app like this for some time now and so glad the app store recommended it. I have a very busy work life and my job includes many deadlines, many different targets and many different aspects so I am juggling that, a growing blog and a growing toddler! As you can imagine life is hectic and I really struggle with time management finding myself flaking on ideas or proposals to put forward. This app is really going to help me better my time management, consequently improving and develop everything I am involved in.


SLEEP BETTER SMART ALARM CLOCK
Another app I have needed for so long, my sleeping patterns are just a mess after Christmas break. Literally don't know how I can get focused back into work without my 2pm nap that has caused me to not even stifle a yawn until 1am most nights. This alarm clock tracks and monitors your sleeping patterns by just placing your iPhone next to you when you sleep and will help you to formulate a better sleeping pattern according to your daily recordings of exercise, stress, caffeine and alcohol intake.


PEAK - BRAIN TRAINING APP
As well as trying to improve my physical health in 2016, I really want to start stimulating my brain more often. This app is all about brain training and it's absolutely fantastic!! You can play lots of stimulating and challenging games to really get your brain working to improve your focus and many other elements that get worn down day to day. You can set goals and see how much you improve over time. I'm really looking forward to seeing how I get on with this and see if I can notice a difference.


That's all I have for you today, what apps have you been downloading in the New Year? Leave me a comment below and let me know what you're loving!




GOODBYE 2015, HELLO 2016...


HAPPY NEW YEAR YOU LOVELY BUNCH!  
I have been SO busy out and about the last few days that I haven't had a chance to sit down and do this post, so please forgive me but I am here now!! 
2015 was a HUGE year for me & my family, it really was a rollercoaster of emotions that saw us go up and down to the worst days of our lives and back up again.
The best thing I did in 2015 was start my blog. I was in a really, really dark place this time last year, suffering with post-natal depression and severe anxiety for the past 18 months had really started to take a toll on me, I knew something had to change to better not only my life and personal development but my fiance & daughters life too. The only time I ever left the house was to get drunk and the rest of the time I spent in my pyjamas with the curtains shut and the doors locked at all times. I resented Justin for leaving me and going to work so much, I was so jealous that he got a break from being at home and that got to communicate with the outside world, something I couldn't do without drinking a bottle of vodka beforehand. It wasn't until the end of January 2015 when I started my blog that things started to change...

I never expected anyone to ever read my blog, other than my facebook friends out of curiosity. So when I posted and promoted my first ever post & watched the pageviews mount, it was the ultimate confidence boost and realisation of self worth that I needed to start recovering from the horrible illness that had eaten up everything that made me, me. My blog became my second baby and it has become my passion, I have been given so many wonderful opportunities and I have made so many new friends thanks to this wonderful business and community. It sounds so bloody cliche because there are a million posts like mine, but it was the BEST therapy and suddenly I got my ambition back taking me to May when I started my new job...
I work with some of the best people I have ever met in my life, I have worked with them for about 8 months now and a few of them know me better than I know myself. I am so lucky to have such an understanding, patient manager and now friend in Amy and I have found a best friend for life in Sophie, two people who made the lows in 2015 easier and have given me some of the best advice and guidance I could ever want or need, if you're reading this I love you both so much. 

In July our beautiful little girl Harper turned 2, it's so scary how much she has learnt and how much she has grown in 2015. She is the baby of both mine and Justin's family but she just isn't very 'baby' anymore. She started nursery this year and is the baby there too, her cousin Oliver has taken her under his wing at preschool and watching the way they play together and communicate is just magical. She is so advanced with her speech and gives us as much attitude as she does love and affection, she's just the best human being to ever walk the earth and I really can't wait to see what 2016 brings for her.

Although the first half of the year was full of highs we were due some bad news, the worst news. Justin's dad passed away on July 9th 2015. He was such a family man and would do anything for his 3 boys & wife, Christine. We all miss him so much and we are so conscious of the fact that we need to keep his memory alive for Harper, who he loved and cherished more than anything in the world.
The second half of the year has just been a blur of working hard and kind of falling off the wagon with my blog which I didn't enjoy, my routine was a bit all over the place and I found less time to be passionate and creative, which made me stressed and unhappy for a small period of time. Now I am back on track and I have set some ambitious blogging goals for 2016 which I am looking forward to focusing on.
2015 was a great year for me & my career, my personal life not so great but I still ended it with the two most important people in my life loving and supporting me with everything that they have and for that I am so so grateful. I put on a shit tonne of weight and my fertility issues are plaguing me massively as I move into 2016 but I know I need to be positive and remain motivated to achieve the things I know we deserve and ultimately are the most important. 
Thank you to every single person in my life for making the good times in 2015 the greatest, every single person that follows me on social media, every single one of my blogging friends who know the struggles, every single person who has read or reads my blog thank you, thank you, thank yoooou. 
I hope you all have a beautiful, prosperous and healthy 2016.