2015 Blog Goals

If I'm completely honest with you, 2014 has not been my year blog-wise. My real life has pushed its way through a bit, what with getting married and my ongoing health problems, so, although my blog hasn't suffered as such, it certainly hasn't progressed the way I'd have liked it to. However, 2015 will be different. I know it's going to be different because I have A Plan. An actual action plan for my blog in 2015. 

Here's the deal: By September, I want to be able to go part-time in the day job. I love it but I also really love blogging and I'd love to be able to have both careers. Depending on my income by that point, I want to be able to work either three or four days, dedicating the rest of the week to blogging. 

To do this, I need to have a solid plan in mind. So I've thought long and hard about how to improve next year and how I can work towards my goal.
Photography is the bane of my life. I love it, and I can see a real improvement over the past 3 years, but I'm still not happy with it. However, now I have lights which will hopefully make a huge difference. I'm also working on a more interesting, professional backdrop than my current bedsheets and I plan to use my tripod more for still-life shots to give me more control.

Boost traffic
Finally, finally, I've got into Pinterest. I've found it really useful to find blog resources and I'm pretty sure I'll be able to use it to promote my blog too with pin-friendly images. My traffic is always hugely improved when I remember to promote my posts on Twitter. Don't worry, I won't be spamming your accounts, but if I post links a couple of times a day, I'll see a marked improvement. This also relates to me pinning my links to my Twitter profile whenever I post a new one, so anybody visiting my Twitter page can see my latest post straight away.

Improve income
Uh-oh, we're talking about money here. Let's be honest though, if I'm going to lose a day of work, I'm going to need to make up the income with my blog. Making money is a necessity if I want to meet my goal. Luckily, I've made some really great business relationships over the past three years and I'll be continuing to work with these, developing long-term connections. I'm also going to be looking into some freelance writing for blogs and websites, and I've installed Adsense, as you may be able to see on the right. Every time somebody clicks on those ads, I get a few more pennies, so if you fancy helping me out, you know what to do!

Set up as a business
It's getting to the point where my blogging has outgrown hobby status and is moving towards a business. By the time this post goes live, I will have visited my local Citizens Advice Bureau for advice on registering as self-employed and sorting out all the necessary tax paperwork. It may seem odd to write a blog business plan, but this post perfectly sold it to me and it's something I'm really excited to create. Finally, and the most exciting part for me, I'll be setting up a PO box. It's got to the point where I'm getting a bit cautious about giving my home address to so many companies, and I'm getting the odd PR sample sent through with no indication of who sent it, so a PO box will set my mind at ease.


Not only that, but I have some great new series posts coming up too. Every month, I'm going to feature a charity in my sidebar and write a post to explain why it's such an important cause to support. I'm also going to be introducing a monthly flashback post; Taking one of my old posts each month and rewriting it to bring it up to date. I'll also be carrying on with my newly-started Can fat people wear...? series so look out for that.

I am super duper excited about the upcoming year. I really think it's going to be a big year for me. Wish me luck! I'd also love to know what your resolutions and goals are, so let me know in the comments! 

Best of 2014

I absolutely love these posts at the end of the year! Not only are they a great way of looking back and reflecting over the year, but they also put all my best posts in a neat little post for new readers to check out. (Hello, new readers!)

This year, I've chosen my three favourite posts from each month to create a chronology of Becky Bedbug in 2014. Let's take a trip down memory lane...

Body Positivity Week: I missed out on Body Positivity Week so I wrote a whole post about it.
Diaries behind-the-scenes: The Emo Years. If you fancy a peek into the inner workings of 17 year old angst-ridden emo Becky, this post is a good place to start!
Become a YouTube Millionaire with Glamour Magazine: Glamour wrote an article about how easy it is to make your fortune on YouTube and it was all wrong. 

Schwing Along with Wayne's World: I wore fancy dress to a Wayne's World screening in London and stayed in the courtroom where The Clash were once tried for shooting a pigeon.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: For a late Christmas present, I took my little brother to the West End and Camden.
What to expect from an MRI scan: I had an MRI to check out my head-brain area (I'm not entirely sure what they were looking for, to be honest) and actually kind of enjoyed it!  

Malala Yousafzai at WOW London: I had the truly remarkable privilege of seeing Malala Yousafzai speak at the Southbank Centre in London, and was lucky enough to have a front row seat right opposite her lectern.
Vogue Festival 2014: Good Taste, Bad Taste: While we're on the topic of the Southbank Centre, I also narrowly missed out on the opportunity to meet my art inspiration, Grayson Perry.
World's Tiniest Hands: I may have teeny-tiny hands but there are some benefits! 

Brookwood Cemetery: South Side: I'm a bit of a cemetery fan (I know it's bizarre) and this was the most beautiful necropolis I've ever visited.
My Chemical Romance May Death Never Stop You: Fancy reading a hilariously melodramatic review of MCR's greatest hits? 
Lewes Castle: Visiting Lewes Castle on a sunny day was lovely!

The Roman Baths: After wanting to for ages, I finally had the chance to visit Bath. 
On meritocracy and women in the boardroom: Controversy alert! 
My rook piercing: One month on: After getting my rook pierced, I wrote a post about the pain, healing and aftercare.

Interview with my grandma: Everybody should interview a member of their family. My grandma is my inspiration in life and it was wonderful hearing all about her life.
London Pride Parade: Although it was in the midst of torrential downpour, London Pride Parade was incredible. We even came within feet of Sir Ian McKellen! Amazing, right?
Kew Gardens: To be honest, nature isn't really my thing but Kew Gardens was gorgeous. 

Four Seasons Hampshire Spa: What better way to relax than being treated to a day in a luxury spa? Bliss!
2000 Trees Festival: Saturday: Being sent to photograph 2000 Trees Festival was one of my highlights of 2014.
NARSissist x Lily Anna event at Space NK: I was invited to a great evening at Space NK with Lily Pebbles and Anna of Vivianna Does Makeup. Both were lovely girls!

Warner Bros Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter: My third visit to the Harry Potter tour in Leavesden to pick up some last-minute wedding inspiration.
Florida Day 2: Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom: Our first full day at Magic Kingdom was one of the most magical of my life! 
Wizarding World of Harry Potter: Hogsmeade: Our wedding venue! Returning to Hogsmeade after 3 years felt like coming home.

Florida Harry Potter Wedding: We got married at Hogwarts and it was the greatest day of my life! 
England Wedding: Once we'd landed back in England, we had our wedding reception in Winchester. 
Edinburgh Castle: While I was finally visiting Scotland, I checked out all the Edinburgh tourist spots!

What I learned from our wedding: As it turns out, I really had nothing to worry about!
My office: After setting up my office space 3 months ago, I've used it once. Still, it's pretty!
Becky Reads Company: September 2014: A moment of silence for the final Becky Reads Company. 

#SimplyBeReal Moments: This adorable illustration was drawn based on the funniest moment of my professional career.
A day trip to Calais: Turns out French is not my strong suit.
What to expect from a counselling assessment: My first experience in the world of therapy wasn't as scary as I'd expected.

My acrylic nail journey: I'm serious when I say my first acrylic nails have changed my life! 
My festive bedroom: Christmas decorating is a big deal in my household! 
5 tips for decorating your Christmas tree: Or how to suck the fun out of decorating for everybody else in your family. 

Looking back over 2014, I've had a lot of great times. Let's hope 2015 is even better! 


101 in 1001 XXIV

I was so busy at the end of November that I didn't have time to update my 101 in 1001 goals. Instead, I'm rolling both November and December into this one post. 

#12 Attend a blogging event
Far too many to count! The Kelly Brook for Simply Be event was a real highlight, but I also loved the Curvy Kate blogger party

#66 Buy a mirror for my dressing table
This was actually a Christmas present from Rich but finally, more than 3 years after moving into our house, I've got round to setting up a mirror on my dressing table. It's pretty exciting to be honest! 

#96 Read 75 books (88/75)
My goal for books read in 2014 was 50 but I only made it to 42, four fewer than last year. I'll try for 50 again in 2015. At least I've beat my 101 in 1001 goal by a long way! 

I can't believe there are only 4 months left. When I wrote my list, it felt like so far away! 

Camera Roll: December 2014

Starbucks has won over my heart this Christmas. It's a grande gingerbread hot chocolate with cream, if you're asking// The wonderful decoration we bought in Disneyworld. 
My mum and I being basic white girls// My pal, Danny the Deer.
Cocktails at Bubba Gump// Batty decked out for Christmas
Myles & I on Christmas Eve// Nothing says blog birthday like playing with a massive pink balloon!

Fluffy hat in New Look. Wish I'd bought it// Fluffy matches me!
My Christmas phone case// Matt likes my new hat! 


OOTD // 29th December 2014

Jumper: ASOS
Dress: H! by Henry Holland

Isn't this jumper the best? It was a Christmas present from my grandparents and is so me. The pastel shades, the kitschy poodle motif, the texture. Everything about it is perfect for me! I love how it looks with my flamingo dress. The way it clashes is exactly what I like about it. Flamingoes and poodles in one outfit? Sure, why not?

In other news, this is the first outfit photo I've taken with my new lights. I'm still experimenting with them but I'm really excited about being able to improve my photography... and have the ability to take photos at 2am if I so wish! No more restrictions from the sun! The photos I took for my 3rd blog birthday post were also boosted by my lights, and I think they work really well against the white wall. I'm so looking forward to developing my use of light over the next year! 

What I got for Christmas 2014

I know these posts aren't to everybody's taste so, if they bother you, look away now! These are some of the main presents I got from my family this year. It wasn't possible to photograph all of them so I just chose a selection to show here. I also haven't included the majority of stocking fillers, such as chocolates, shower gels and mini candles.
From Rich: Dressing table mirror// Snow Fairy and Hot Toddy// Lush Mr Frosty// Lindt Reindeer// Chocolate Orange// Pointless book// Pugs in Costumes book// Joey Essex autobiography (I really love Joey Essex. Deal with it!) Also: Studio lights// Cosmetics caddy// A metre of Jaffa Cakes// Keith Lemon calendar (this was a joke gift)// DFS footstool// Yankee Candles// Gigantic teddy bear

From my mum: Christmas Carol book// Lindt Reindeer// Chocolate Orange// My Little Pony socks. Also: Dorothy Perkins coat// Vintage piggy bank

From my grandparents: Ted Baker gift set// Rosie's Pantry biscuits. Also: ASOS jumper (worn in this post)

From Laura and Matt: Cute cushion// Crap Taxidermy book. Also: Dinosaur origami kit.

I feel very lucky and thankful to have received such thoughtful presents. I'd love to know what everybody else got for Christmas so please let me know in the comments! 


Winter Wonderland 2014

Last year, Rich and I visited Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland with my brother Jamie and, although we had a great time, it was New Year's Eve and we were pretty rushed. Rich and I decided to go again this year and dedicate our whole London daytrip to Winter Wonderland so we didn't need to worry about hurrying off. It was a much more enjoyable experience knowing we could take our time.

Is it just me or does Santa look like he should be in an Electric Six music video?

Rich reckons this biscuit is perfect for me! Harumph!

One of my favourite parts of the park was the huge Bavarian Great Hall in the Bavarian Village. With tankards of beer available, as well as plenty of seating in a warm, covered tent, it was the perfect place to chill out and take a rest. There was even a German band, Frontal, playing party tunes to get everybody in the mood. This adorable little boy on the left was dancing around and filming the band. So cute!

Jamie and I braved Wilde Maus last year and it was one of the funniest experiences of my life. I fully recommend it!

According to Rich, the resemblance is uncanny. 

 My penguin pal loves my Pharrell hat! 

Another of my favourite venues was The Firepit: A bar based around a giant fire which gave off a huge amount of heat. It was so warm and cosy sitting around it, and I always find something very serene in staring at flames. I promise that didn't sound as weird in my head...

Bonus photo of Marble Arch, just because I like it!

We had a wonderful time. I think trips to Winter Wonderland are going to become an annual tradition! 

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