Archives for January 2012

Parma

People think I’m weird because I have a bit of an obsession with Parma Violets. I find them yummy and sweet, and I love the smell. To others, it tastes like soap and smells like old ladies.

I bought McQueen * from Amazon after someone said it smelt exactly like Parma Violets. Oddly, the 100ml bottle was cheaper than the 50ml at the time, so I bought it quick. Maybe its just my nose, but I don’t really smell the violets.

I bought Insolence* from Debenhams a few weeks ago – I had a gift card burning a hole in my purse, and I had a miniature of this in my bag which I loved until it all emptied out into my bag. The bag still smells quite nice, 2 years later.

Both of these are meant to be quite violet-y, but they just weren’t the right sort of sweet violet. A lazy browse around Amazon lead me to something which I thought was worth buying the body spray of to see if thats the scent I was hunting for since it was only £2 with Prime delivery. Success! It was!

You’re probably wondering what that scent was. Um. Well, its Yardley April Violets*. Which…is an old lady kind of brand.

Oh dear.

Some New Sensation

Too lazy today to do an outfit post. I tried, but, blah. Have been trying to think about what to wear next month – London Fashion Week has made its way around again, and instead of the one day I managed last year, I’m going to be in London for three days. You may find this odd, but thats (a) the longest I’ve ever spent in London, and (b) the first time I’ve ever been to London and not had any definite plans. I’m incredibly excited, and trying to organise myself to see as many lovely people as possible – I’m hoping to get everyone together on one night for dinner like last time and I’ve been eying up various places that I keep hearing about from other bloggers and never go to – the Diner, anyone?

Above is a little collage of the things I’ve bought lately (or am considering) – a few dresses from ASOS, a dress from COS (I love this, its a similar shape to my many other dresses, but with a strong waistband), a crocheted collar, a gorgeous coat. The shoes, surprisingly, are the only things unbought – I’m trying to hunt down a pair of sparkly brogues – Primark had them on sale for £3, but not in my size – and another pair of shoes with a high, thick, heel that are comfortable. Am I hoping for the impossible?

I’m not even sure yet if I have a pass, or tickets to any shows, but I’m really excited about going, because I know I’ll get to see people I never see. Damn living on the other side of the country!

Blogging Is Not A Competition

Todays post was originally going to be an entry into a competition by a company to win a ridiculous amount of shoes.

But obviously, its not. (I think I just heard Alex breathe a sigh of relief.)

Recently, there have been so many “competitions” and “awards” where the main objective for the company has seemed to be to get as many incoming links and mentions on Twitter, increasing their own visibility whilst masquerading as giving something to the blogging community. That may be a very cynical way of looking at things, but before this shoe company (I won’t put the name here, but I think most of you will know – and really, if you don’t, its irrelevant anyway) started their “ambassador scheme”, I doubt many people had even heard of them, and before their competition was announced, I hadn’t even been to the site. The competition is to write about a pair of shoes from their site – before I started this post, I was intending to enter and spent a few hours idly browsing their website and even contemplated a purchase. Job well done, shoe company.

Before Big Fashionista posted her post yesterday about the popularity contest side of things, the shoe company intended to narrow down the hundreds of entries down to 5, then “let the public decide”. My least favourite part of any competition. Y’see, companies have realized that instead of getting a small team together in house to pick a winner based on their actual entry for something, they can instead get the finalists themselves to hunt for votes, whoring themselves as much as possible. You may remember last year, I was one of the final four in a competition to write for a lingerie company website. I felt incredibly uncomfortable asking people to vote for me (I’ve blogged recently about how I dislike promoting myself) but I did as much as I felt comfortable with. I didn’t think I had the best entry, but I didn’t think that the eventual winner was the best out of the four. Does being able to ask for votes really qualify someone to write well?

Which kinda brings me on to blog awards. I’ve made comments on Twitter (of course, its where I get my bitchyness out!) but haven’t really had a chance to get things out properly. Cosmopolitan, Marie Clare, More, Company, Look, Glamour…the list of magazines starting to use bloggers as features is increasing. A number of these magazines have blog awards, and two of them are ongoing at the moment. While I am pleased for my friends who are nominated, it feels quite uncomfortable to me that the prizes in these awards is often the “chance” to write for the magazine. You win the chance to provide them with free content? It just doesn’t seem much of a prize for those of us that blogging and writing is a hobby rather than a career. However much I would love some recognition that non blogging friends would understand, the truth is in my industry, an award for blogging is about as useful as that 400m swimming badge I got when I was…um…15.

The worst part about these awards is when there is more than one person in the category that you like a lot. I ended up registering with a few different email addresses for the Cosmo awards recently so I could vote for each of the lovely ladies in the fashion blogger category – which seems rather pointless!

Blogging is not a competition. We shouldn’t be fighting (politely, of course, but still fighting) over something, but working together. Instead of being evasive over what you’ve said to a company or something, what is wrong with sharing the knowledge? (I’ve gone all evangelical, I do apologise – but I never know how to respond to emails about my blog and I would find it so useful to be able to get help from other people besides poor ol’ Sarah.)

I don’t know. I’ve spilled out my thoughts on this, but I don’t feel any better for it! Am I just burbling away crap to myself, or do you guys agree? Are awards and competitions actually beneficial to the blogger who wins in the end?

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