An Evening With Neals Yard

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So a couple of weeks ago, I headed off to an apartment on the river for an evening with Neals Yard. Of course I had heard of the brand before, but this was the first time I had gotten up close and personal with it. Instead of the typical event in store, the event was in a serviced apartment in Finzels Reach, and was a more relaxing environment to learn more about the brand and products.

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The hallway was lined with the iconic blue glass bottles and roses, and scattered around the apartment were diffusers puffing out little clouds of lovely smells (a mix of frankincense and rose, apparently). The event was being held during Organic Beauty Week so we heard from a lady from the Soil Association. I have quite sensitive skin, so have used Liz Earle products before, but I didn’t really know organic make up was a thing

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Next was the demonstration by Sue Adlam – she gave Sofia a mini facial and passed the products around for the rest of us to try – the ever glamourous She and Hem ladies getting into it here with Charlotte!

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As a leaving gift, we were all given a pot of Wild Rose Beauty Balm, in the special 10th anniversary packaging (which has beautiful illustrations by Alice Shields, who happens to also be from Bristol!)

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If you’re not quite tempted yet about the Wild Rose Beauty Balm, check out SJ’s post with five difference uses for it!

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The Future of Blogging

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Standard “Hayles is having a rant about blogging” disclaimer – this isn’t about you. But if it makes you think about things, then good.

The current hot topic on blogs at the moment is how blogging has changed, and how awful it is that things aren’t like they used to be. I’ve been noticing this on a few blogs over the last month, but the announcement that Domestic Sluttery, a blog that inspired so many to start their own, is shutting down made me put pen to paper. Fingers to keyboard. Whatever.

So why is the site closing?
Because it’s coming close to not being fun any more.

Sure, if something isn’t fun, then you shouldn’t do it anymore. But then, if something isn’t fun, that used to be fun, what’s stopping you from making it fun again? If you’re not happy with how something is done, then only you can change that. You have two choices really, fellow bloggers. Either suck it up, and learn that things change, blogging has evolved, or blog like you used to back in the day, without any pressures.

One of the main discussion points in all these posts lamenting the loss of 2009 style blogging is that it’s not all about the blogging anymore. It’s fantastic that some people can make a living from their blogs, but it’s not the be all and end all. It’s possible to blog without being bothered about getting as many ads, as many sponsored posts, as many items (and get them reviewed and posted before anyone else)

But blogging has changed so much, the industry is now very different to when we launched. It’s become about chasing pageviews and shares and fighting Facebook algorithms.

I get it – bloggers feel a little more under pressure than they used to. Pressure to be able to provide the numbers that brands want, and be omniprescent on all social networks, but what people seem to forget is that you don’t have to do that to be a blogger.

You know what you have to, must, need to do to be a blogger? Write.

So get on with it.

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KIS Bag

In standard acronym terms, KISS stands for keep it simple, stupid. In terms of this bag however, KIS stands for keep it safe.

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I was late night browsing Kickstarter (I totally pledged for this awesome water balloon Kickstarter) and spotted this on the Bristol page. I wouldn’t normally share Kickstarters (mostly because everyone already knows about the good ones before I get there) but I thought this was a really clever design and quite reasonably priced. Check out the video to see what all the fuss is about.

They currently have early bird bags available for £13 – if you’d like to find out more, head over to the Kickstarter page. I’ve gone for the pink swallows design, but the fox is pretty cute too! This would be such a useful bag for festivals – the design seems really obvious when you see it in the video, but I’ve never seen anything like it.

Disclaimer: I haven’t received anything, not even a press release, to blog about this – but I want the Kickstarter to succeed so I can buy a pretty cool bag!

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