Monday 19 December 2016

4 Gifts I Hated Receiving at Christmas, But Love Now

There are two types of people. There are the first kind, that leave their Christmas shopping to the last minute. They have no idea whatsoever to get anyone, panic buy, and spend an ungodly amount of money on things that, really, nobody asked for, or wanted. Then there are the second kind, who have their gift shopping all wrapped up and under the tree before their Thanksgiving celebrating neighbors can wipe out the Turkey. I'm most definitely the latter and love to be prepared, although you will always find me panicking a week before the big day, wondering if there's enough to open.

Luckily, or rather unluckily, my parents fall either side of the spectrum. My Mum is, and always has been a planner. She'd have Christmas sorted by June and hidden away in any number of cupboards, but my Father, he's.. less organised, and if I could rely on a parent to buy me something I didn't want to receive, it would almost always be off him. Alas, times have changed, and presents I once dreaded receiving have become new favourites of mine to rip away from it's paper instead. Take, for example..

Sunday 11 December 2016

Say Hello To Nellie and Co's Free 2017 Planners!

This time last year, I shared with you my 2016 Blog Planner, and boy was that a petrifying day. I kept convincing myself that it wasn't good enough, even for something I was sharing for free, and that nobody would care, or bother downloading it, but to my complete surprise, you really liked it, and some of you even shared with me your usage of it. I'm telling you, you have no idea how happy that made me, and the pride I felt knowing I'd finally achieved something I'd wanted to do for a long time.

I'd also made the decision to improve upon that planner, and create a new one for 2017.

Alas, as you know, this year has been a rollercoaster, with mental health, a few breakdowns, and getting myself back into a blogging rhythm, so naturally, creating the planners sort of found itself left on the bench of not-so-important priorities. Fast forward to October/November when Olivia @Writing4Joy asked me on Twitter if I'd be making a new and updated planner, and I didn't know. I was still trying to find my footing back on Nellie and Co, and I had all these plans, for changes and new directions, not to mention, you know, keeping my head screwed on, until I remembered how much I enjoyed creating last years planner. Was it stressful? Hell yes, but the reward was amazing, and if there was ever a time to make myself feel proud, it would be now.

Say hello to Nellie and Co's 2017 Planners!

Now, I say planners specially, for two reason. The first being that this isn't specifically a blogging planner, although it did start off that way. I realised that, really, a lot of the original pages could be altered to be none specific, allowing them to be used in any way, which really works for me moving into next year. The second reason being that there are actually two versions of the planner this year, both of them feminine and floral, one blue and yellow themed, the other in pink.

At a quick glance, you can see that 2017's planners look a lot like last years, and that's because I used last years as a template because it worked so well, but there are a few sneaky little changes that were made, in terms of new additions and sprucing up.

The biggest change by far is the design. Unlike last years, the design has nothing in common with Nellie and Co's look, and that was actually intentional. As far as branding goes, I find it extremely important to create a cohesive brand, and while I've seen other peoples brands move into their products, I didn't want to do that this year. It was important for me to create a few product that people felt belonged to them, and no to somebody else, and that had more of a personality. The brighter colours and themes really were a huge part of the process, and I wouldn't have them any other way. Both designs are identical bar their colour schemes, so you're going to get the same quality no matter which one you choose.

Another change was, as already mentioned briefly, switching the planner from a blogging planner, to just, a planner. This to some may look like a step backwards, almost a missed opportunity to target my perfect market, but I'm not really targeting anyone, and neither do I gain much out of pushing the planner on specific people - it's free. I wanted to create a planner that worked for everyone and anyone, whether you're looking for something just to take your notes, file away your plans, and track your year, or if you're super into monitoring everything you do, it can work for you. It's totally up to you which pages you use, customisation to the maximum.

In terms of what is available, there's only a few minor changes on last years version.

The Basics Collection

  • Single-Page Weekly Overviews (Jan '17 - Jan '18)
  • Double-Page Monthly Overviews (Jan '17 - Jan '18)
  • Double-Page Yearly Overview (Jan '17 - Dec '17)
  • Monthly Title and/or Motivational Quote Pages
  • Project Planner and Note-Taking Pages

The Goals Collection

  • Goal Planning Page
  • Goal Tracking Page
  • Yearly Goal Tracking Page

The Blogging Collection

  • 2017/2018 Statistics Overview Page
  • Blog Post Planning/Drafting Page
  • Blog Post Planning Checklist Page
  • Double-Page Google Analytics Page

The Book-Blogging Collection

  • Double-Page Books Read Page
  • Double-Page Books Bought Page
  • Double-Page Books Reviewed Page
  • Only The Best Books Tracker Page

The best thing about all of these pages is that they're all available in both the blue and pink versions, so you choose which pages you want and which you don't, while still having the option to use them at a later date. You could even, if you wanted to, mix and match the two, as their designed the same way. It was always my intention to create something a little, different from Nellie and Co, connected, but also it's own thing, and I really can't wait to be using my own copy really soon. You can download the planners below (as compressed zip files), and if you do download and print them out, share your creations on Twitter and Instagram, and tag me @nellieand_co so I can see them too.


Best of luck for 2017, enjoy your free forever planners!

What do you think of this years planners? Let me know in the comments below.

Sunday 4 December 2016

Blogging Over Christmas: To Post, or Not To Post?

Last year I shared how, with a little bit of preparation and effort, you can keep your blog running smoothly throughout the festive period, without sticking yourself to your desk, watching the winter days fly by, but this year, I'm wondering if there's any point in posting over the festive period at all. Sure, I have ideas, and content I can share, but will people actually be interested in reading it, and if not, is it a pointless task, spending all that time on writing and typing, creating and sharing, only to get nadah?

Monday 28 November 2016

10 Popular, Well Loved Series I Think I Should Finish

In the past, I have been known to enjoy binge reading a series or five, and these days, although reading in itself isn't as common a hobby as it was previously, I still enjoy swallowing entire series whole. Alas, while this habit isn't actually a bad one, an unfortunate reaction to that hobby is that I can sometimes quite frequently forget to give series I didn't mind a chance to improve, or I simply don't have to time, nor effort, to give a better the book a second impression. For some series, that's unfair, and for others, I've almost convinced myself that I should give them another go, or at least, consider it. Today therefore, I share with you 10 pretty popular and well loved series that I have a niggling feeling I should finish.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

What's With The Absence of Fat Girls in Fiction?

Ever noticed that there just aren't that many fat girls in fiction? Why is that, and is it okay?

I'm the first person to admit that I'm a fatty. I'm obese, if not severely, and if you were to name the most unhealthy foods, I could tell you right now that I probably love them. I've never been as big as I am now, and I've never been the right weight for my body size and type, but I seldom care. I eat what I want, and I don't have any physical health problems to stop me. The same can't be said for the fat girls in fiction, which, considering their size, seem damn near impossible to find. I ask you world, where are the fat girls in fiction?

Of course, the most obvious reason to not have fat girls, or boys for that matter, in fiction, is that it's not healthy, and in the most extreme cases, can kill you. Not something you want to be glorifying in front of young, impressionable children, am I right? Alas, growing up, I never read of any fat girls in fiction. Sure, I didn't read as much back then, but still, not a one, and that does nothing for a growing girl whose never had a boyfriend before. I wouldn't, and couldn't wear shorts because they suctioned on to my thighs, and I couldn't leave the house without a coat because I was afraid my bouncing belly would be off-putting. Was my double chin the reason people didn't want to be my babe, or was it my bingo wings, strapped to my arms, denying me a sweat-free life?