The Best Gym Bag

As you probably know by now, I go to the gym a lot. I go every morning before work, because it’s an easy routine for me, and I feel less sluggish when I get to work. But the problem with going to the gym before work is that you have to lug around your stuff all day, you carry two bags (a handbag and a gym bag) and gym bags are butt ugly. So after writing that post, I looked online for a gym bag and found GymTote*. They’re bags designed so you only need to carry one bag, and they can keep everything in specific sections.

I bought the Reese tote* as a birthday present to myself and have been using it on a pretty much daily basis. It’s a great bag, but there are a few things I would change.

First – the size. The Reese is the largest women’s bag that GymTote sell, but I still feel like I could do with a bit of extra space in there! For example, there’s a pocket that they advertise to put your water bottle in – the bottle I use on a daily basis is a 700ml Lifefactory glass bottle* and there’s no way that’s fitting in there! I have reduced down my toiletries bag to this tiny hanging bag* and these travel bottles* which all work nicely, but isn’t as easy as just shoving a normal shampoo bottle in your bag.
Oh, and if you’re wondering about headphones – Alex bought me a pair of AirPods for Christmas, which I wasn’t very excited about at first, but I totally appreciate how small they are with this bag! I also picked up a Nanette Lepore tassel keychain (similar from Belkin on Amazon here) from TK Maxx before Christmas – it’s hiding a lightning cable inside it for last minute charges which is super useful.

Secondly – the material. I am happy with how this has held up over six months abuse, but one of the handles and the strap has started to show a little wear, which is expected I guess! I would have preferred to have a leather bag, but I wonder if that would hold the sweat smell more?

With the bag I chose, there is a top section where I can keep my purse and all the other rubbish I feel like I need to carry around on a daily basis – it’s obviously smaller than having a separate bag, but it does mean that I don’t feel like I need as much stuff with me as I used to. The top section isn’t exactly small though – when I used the bag to take stuff to the Forge to take these photos, I was able to fit in both my SLR and my compact camera in, as well as my purse, spare battery, etc. I’d totally buy this bag again, and I like the Charli backpack as well as the Sophia tote but I need more space in the bag!

UK Blogger Map – FMM

You can buy this print from StacieSwift on Etsy

It’s been just a week since I announced (sounds a bit too grand really) my UK bloggers map. The response to it has been overwhelming in all senses of the word. I’m seriously pleased about the response to it, and have spotted so many people chatting to their new found neighbours on Twitter!

There’s a few things I’ve noticed or have been asked, so thought I’d collate them all together

Your blog address is the websites URL.
Its not the genre which you consider your blog to be. It’s not something to leave blank (which kinda defeats the point!) It is most definitely, not in a million years, not for the first line of your address – and its not just one person who did that. I only want to know your general area that you’re comfortable giving out.

You only need to submit once
After the map was featured on a super-popular bloggers site, I ended up with 300 new entries within just a few hours. Which is awesome, and completely blew me away. (By the way, I should mention here how impressed I am with my hosts* – I had a lot of people all hitting the blog at once, and not one complaint that the site was down. Seriously recommend them (and if you click this link*, you’ll also be earning me points towards paying for my hosting. Which would be nice.))
But because the map is manually updated by just me, and I can only update the map for a few hours in the evening, there were quite a few duplicate entries. You will appear, I promise!

You really do need to fill in that form
Tweets, emails and comments will be ignored – the form automatically populates a spreadsheet, and from there I update the map. Sounds fussy, but I want to make sure I get everyone on there, and with the right info!

Your information will not be sold
However, if a PR is organising an event in a city, and would like to know some local bloggers, I’ll happily provide a list from the spreadsheet. Its the same information on the map, its just in a neater format. If you are a PR wanting that sort of info – let me know!

Why isn’t there a map for food bloggers/photographers/people who own a Lady Gaga album?
Because theres not enough time in the day? I’d be quite happy to explain to someone who would like to make their own version for a different interest group how to have the same set up as I have – just email me!

My blog hasn’t appeared and I filled in the form ages ago
This map is for fashion and beauty blogs in the UK (and Ireland). So if your blog is about technology, or various news topics, or you’re based in Europe, then…well, its kinda obvious why you’re not on there. If I’ve gotten that wrong though, then email me.

I’m in the wrong place!
Mostly its down to Google. I’m pretty hopeless with some areas of the countrys geography, so I rely on Google Maps to tell me where somewhere is. If its totally, completely wrong, email me!

I’ve changed my details
Email me!

I don’t want to be on this anymore
Do I need to say it again? Email! EEEEEEEEEMAIL.

I think thats it for now. Have a question I’ve not covered here? Leave me a comment, or y’know, email me. Don’t think I’ve mentioned how emailing me is a good idea enough. Actually just email for a chat. I like emails.

UK Bloggers Map

(You can buy these map notebooks from inkwhimsy on Etsy!)

Ever wondered if there were any bloggers near to you, but weren’t sure how to find out?

Find yourself in a new city with time on your hands, and wanted to arrange a meetup?

Just plain nosy? (Thats me)

You may like to have a look then at my little project, UK Blogger Map. I’ve been thinking about how useful this would be for a while but it wasn’t until I saw Rose a la Mode’s US version that I realised it wasn’t as difficult to make as I was imagining. A few weeks months faffing, I eventually created the map.

Its pretty simple to use, but here’s an explanation. Fill in the form with as much or as little information as you like. As a minimum, I’d suggest your name, blog address and nearest city.

If you live in a tiny village, feel free to put your location as the nearest town or city that you can get to. Likewise, if you like in a huge city, narrowing down the area would be useful.

It’s manually updated at the moment, but if anyone can give me some advice on making it more automated, that would be much appreciated!

If you have any suggestions or comments to make about the map, please leave them in a comment or use the contact form. The more bloggers who fill out the form, the more useful it will be, so please do pass the link on!

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