#mybloggingtruth – A challenge to all bloggers

I started my first blog back in the early part of 2008, I wanted to share my life and what it was like raising a severely disabled child. How it could be hard but it could also be truly amazing. In the last 7 years I have seen many changes in the blogging world some good, some not so much. I know it has expanded greatly thats for sure, both in the personal and business world. Bloggers have become influential and can really make a difference to the public perception of a brand or a product.

It will come as no surprise to my regular readers of which I know there may be one or two that I am an emotional writer. My words fall from my heart onto the pages here. Sometimes I read my old posts and think maybe I shouldn’t have shared that or maybe I could have written it different but often I write for freedom and at that time writing that blog post may have given me that.

Sharing your heart here in the virtual world isn’t easy, especially when you put your name to the words. Of course we have all read the anonymous nefarious hate that has been written by trolls but in my book if you don’t put your name to it well then your cowardly shit isn’t worth the webspace you are taking up.

But even the most honest of all writers hide.

Are we really not photoshopping our words, our lives, hiding behind the filters.

Do we really share all our true faults, our failings?

Hands up I know I don’t.

Why would we?

It’s scary being vulnerable.

Well, as a writer who has shared her struggles and also from reading and talking to others what I have learned is that honesty makes people feel less alone.

How many of us moms have really felt that we have had enough, I know have. Seriously at times I wonder if I am cut out to be a mother. I screw up so often that I’m glad my children don’t keep score. Yet when I read blogs that seem full of perfect parenting I truly struggle. Questions like “what did I do wrong”? Raise their mind destroying heads.

Or the blog of the woman who dropped her pregnancy weight in 2 weeks whilst 14 years I still have my baby belly.

The perfect home baking whilst my kitchen looks like a war zone.

All this seems just out of reach.

So I’m setting all bloggers the #mybloggingtruth  challenge.

I want you to write a post sharing your truths.

Be open and be vulnerable and lets come together to celebrate our imperfections, our  struggles and our mishaps.

I will start the ball rolling here’s my truth……  I run away. 

I get so scared of failing that sometimes I’m to scared to try. I hate this about myself, I look back at the opportunities I have missed because of fear. The friendships I didn’t allow to blossom because I didn’t believe in myself. The many times I have said no when my heart really wanted to say yes. So many experiences, prospects lost to my fear.

I’m working on this but  I am truly still a work in progress.

So join in with me, write your post, tweet it to me @livvyssmile and use the hashtag #mybloggingtruth and lets use our words and our truths to make us all feel less alone.

Let our transparency be the the light for others.

Let’s do this, lets share our blogging truths.

Ambition and ego in the blogging world.

I’ve been thinking a lot about blogging the last few weeks and why I personally blog. I was started on this thoughtful path after reading a few comments from within the blogging world, comments which upset me. Bloggers arguing with each other and tearing each other down.

This doesn’t sit well with me, to be truthful I was rather emotional about the whole thing.

Then I realised something.

Not all bloggers blog for the same reason I do.

For me I write to free my head of my words. To allow my thoughts to tumble out through my fingers and onto the pages. I also enjoy sharing my dreams and my hopes. My heartache and my struggles. The words are mine, I don’t expect them to influence you in any way, its just me opening my heart to the virtual world. I’m documenting my journey though this crazy thing called life. Even my reviews are written from my perceptive on what I like or what I don’t like. I just like showing you my fashion choices, books I have enjoyed reading and so on.

Still these are my reasons for blogging and they are not everyone else’s.

Some bloggers have ambitions and aspirations for their blog and you know what thats ok.

The problem (is it a problem)? Is when something becomes full of ambition or desire then ego also starts to play a part in it.

Along with our beloved egos comes jealousy and I think this is what has been rearing its head within the blogging community or maybe its always been there and I’m just slow on the uptake <-this has been known to happen.

Now don’t get me wrong I actually don’t have any issue with ambition. In fact I am highly ambitious in my own way in a different field from blogging. I have hopes and goals that I want to achieve.

Blogging for some is a business and you tell me of any business that doesn’t thrive on ambition. Ambition is what feeds growth.

So I guess what I am rambling on about is this, I’ve realised I cannot view the blogging world with my rose tinted glasses anymore. I have to open my eyes and see it as the business, the trade that it is for some.

I have to accept that there will be underhand comments and hurtful things happening. But I don’t have to like it but I can stop it from getting to me.

I don’t have to be as naive, but I also don’t have to change the way I view blogging. Personally for me its about the words, the dreams and the amazing friendships I have made along the way.

I’ve enjoyed widening my experiences, challenging myself, pushing my own limits and I’m not going to let this change.

What I am going to do is work harder on encouraging other bloggers. Congratulate those who have achieved awesome things. Hug those who are struggling and be a better blogging friend.

This little piece of the internet has brought so much into my life and I am truly grateful. Yet I will be constantly reminding myself why I started writing and the core values I set for myself.

Be honest and stay true to me.

It’s a simple statement but it will be my anchor in this crazy choppy virtual world.

be yourself x

Urban Decay

Last weekend I was invited to spend some time at the Urban Decay store in Selfridges Birmingham to learn a little about their new spring range that  has just hit the stores. I know a little of the Urban Decay products but was super excited to learn more.

   

 

The afternoon was also a great opportunity to meet other bloggers too. I love any chance to network and get to know more bloggers and extend my blog list.

The event was hosted by the beautiful Kirsty who is completely stunning and really knows her beauty products.

  
 

I was really impressed by the Urban Decay products the whole range offers you a fantastic variety. There is something to suit anyone’s personal taste.

From neutrals to bright pinks and purples.

The new range of lip glosses were stunning, really pigmented and I just fell in love with the purple ones.

  
 I need.

The Birmingham Selfridges store also hold a limited amount of the truly beautiful vault. A box of stunning lipsticks and liners.

  
If money was no option I would have left the store an owner of one of these beautiful collections.

At the beginning of the event Kirsty asked us all what products we were interested in learning more about and for many of us the search was on for the perfect foundation. I know for me it’s becoming a long endless search as I have got older I have different needs and wants from a foundation. Kirsty was fantastic in colour matching me with one of the new Naked Skin foundations and after a trial I was sold. The range is fantastic for all skin tones and the foundation gives an amazing coverage yet really does feel weightless.

  
I seriously fell in love with many of the products and left with a bottle of foundation and two amazing eye shadows which are so pigmented they are stunning. Even my husband commented on them and that’s saying something.

  
I now have a wish list of quite a few must have products including that purple lipgloss which I am regretting leaving without. I also would like one of the new individual blushers. 

The Urban Decay range really impressed me and I will certainly be adding to my own as soon as I can.

A big thanks to Kirsty for hosting the event and to Urban Decay Selfridges Birmingham for the invite.

See you soon.

Don’t pity me for being a blogger.

I am getting so tired of seeing the look on the faces of people when I tell them I’m a blogger. It’s as if in that single sentence I have become a second class citizen. As if my writing is nothing but a little hobby that I have taken too far. As if publishing my words is a cry for attention.

This makes me angry probably more than it should, but I am still working on those self belief issues.

You see I don’t write as a hobby.

I don’t write as a cry for attention.

I write and I blog simply because I love it.

When I first published a blog post it was in determination. I wanted to show that raising a child with Special Needs was hard yes, but that it also brought you a lot of joy. I was tired of people feeling sorry for me for having Olivia. I wanted them to see what a gift she was to me.

I wanted to share my ideas and experiences with anyone that was willing to read.

After Olivia died I considered giving up blogging. I felt that I have nothing left to share. Then somehow I found myself writing about my grief and my pain. I expected these posts just be shared between family and friends but then I found other grieving parents contacting me telling me that my words were helping them. That they were finding comfort and strength in my posts.

So I carried on writing

In the last 6 years my blog has become my friend. Its a place I bare my soul and times yes I may over share but I do wear my heart on my sleeve and my writing shows this. I cannot make apologies for who I am.

This blog has been on a journey with me. As my tagline states “a journey through this chaos we call life”.

This blog has brought me some amazing opportunities. I have attended some great events and received the opportunity to write some fantastic reviews.

It has also given me a platform to educate and inform people about Special Needs and Rett Syndrome.

This blog has brought me into contact with people who have become friends, dear friends.

But beyond all this, on this blog I have found freedom.

Freedom to allow the words that have been running around inside my head a place to fall out. The endless journals of bygone days are now being filled here in my virtual diary.

I can accept some may never understand why I blog. But please don’t pity me for being a blogger. I am blooming proud of this piece of cyberspace I call home.