Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Surviving A Bad Date

Whether you’re online dating or meeting people via more traditional methods, the chances are you’ll experience a bad date or two. There is nothing wrong with this and it is actually a really worthwhile experience in many ways – after all, how can you appreciate good dates if you don’t have bad ones.

A Funny Story

A few years ago I was a member of a free dating site and met some via this that I thought I would enjoy meeting. We spent a few weeks chatting via messages and the phone, so I thought it would be a great idea to meet up.  
Now, I am not saying this is the best way to escape a bad date, but I have to admit that I did leave the date half way through! Sadly though, I didn’t actually tell the person I was leaving and instead made my excuses to go to the toilet and then left – sending them a message that I was 
doing so!

They were understandably annoyed, and I felt terrible.

You Are Allowed To Leave

The next bad date I had, I was brave enough to tell them that I wasn’t feeling it and made my excuses to leave. This didn’t go down that well, but I did feel better that I had been truthful with them and was able to leave without too much of a fuss! I simply then logged back into the free dating website and moved onto the next person to chat to!
The thing to remember is that you are never obligated to stay on a date that you are unhappy with. Although I would always make sure you are safe when you leave, please remember that if you are not happy on the date then you are well within your rights to leave if you would like to!

Really Bad Dates

However, as lucky as I was to be able to leave these dates without too much hassle, I know that this was not the same for everyone. That is why I was really pleased to read about the Ask Angela campaign.

Image result for ask angela

I really like the idea that bars and pubs are being proactive when it comes to keep their visitors safe. Online dating and meeting people who are considered strangers is becoming more popular so it really is essential that we make sure we do what we can to protect people.

The good news is that I have seen the Ask Angela campaign shared on social media, so it is something that is spreading and becoming more well known. I think before I go on my next date with someone I have met online, I would message the before I attend and see if this is a scheme that they take part in – just because you can never be too sure!

Debz x

Sunday, 18 March 2018

A Guide To Online Dating For The First Time

The question of whether online dating is for you, is a difficult one – and there really is no right or wrong answer. Online dating has many success stories but also many the opposite end of the scale. 

I would say, there is no harm in trying – but it is really important to make sure you go in with your eyes open and approach it in the right way.

Online Dating Is Just Another Option

There is a saying that goes along the lines of not putting all of your eggs in one basket, and I would say the same could be said for online dating. Although online dating can be great, don’t use it as the only way you consider approaching dating. For example, if you join a County Down dating website don’t assume this is the place you’re going to meet your soul mate. Hopefully you will, but exploring other options is always a good idea too!

Join Different Sites

As much as an Edinburgh dating site can seem the ideal choice if you are local, why would you limit yourself to just one? Remember different websites may have a different member database, so if you join more than one you really open up your chances of meeting someone. Personally I am on a couple of the best dating sites and I find this is the best way to message a larger number of people.

Setting Up A Profile

Just because you find a Birmingham dating app that you like, don’t assume that is enough. You really need to put together a great profile and add some photos.  I personally try to avoid profiles that are too lengthy, as I find people don’t read these anyway. However, what I do is make sure that I have a few lines about what I am looking for and then a couple of full length photos. For me, showing someone I am plus size is essential as it is important they like my body, otherwise dating isn’t going to work out very well at all!

Going on a Date

If you find someone that you like and you have exchanged a few messages with, then take the plunge and meet them. If you’re both on a website looking for Isle of Wight Singles then the chances are you both have the same intentions.

When you are going out with someone for the first time, make sure you take steps to be safe and as stress free as possible. I find going out for a drink works well for a first date, because you can both talk and get to know one another and there is no pressure. I prefer to save dinner and other more formal dates for when you know someone better, but that said you should absolutely do what works for you and what you feel most comfortable with.

The important thing is to have fun – so get out there and date!

Saturday, 17 March 2018

How A Friend Gave Up Smoking

I tried smoking once when I was about 15 (sorry mum!), didn’t like it and was never tempted to try again. Being a non-smoker does mean it can be hard to understand how difficult it is to give up, but I recently had a friend who managed to do it with the support of vaping!

As I was then asked to write about vape kits,  I thought it was the ideal opportunity to share my friends success, as it may help others. I know that “bad” habits can be tough to change, so I can only imagine something like smoking feeling like it is near on impossible!

Image result for giving up smoking

Vaping Works

Although my friend found loads of help and advice on the NHS website it was really getting a vaping kit and starting this that helped them. One of the hardest things is the habit of actually giving up, because smoking becomes part of your routine. My friend told me they missed their cigarette after dinner and the one they had first thing in the morning the most.

When you invest in a vape kit, you get to carry on these habits to a small extent and that helps your body to cope. This can make the cravings much less, as you sort of trick your body into thinking that you have had a cigarette so it starts to crave one less.

Vaping Kits

One of the best things about vaping, is that there are so many kits and so many different varieties. This helps to make sure that there is something for everyone – which is essential when it comes to kicking the habit. Giving up anything like this is always a personal journey so it is really important that you approach it in the way that suits you.

My friend did loads of vaping research online and in the end bought the device they thought was right for them. And, to be fair – it worked! They’re now a couple of months smoke free and going strong!

They found that switching up the flavours kept things interesting and this made it much easier for kicking the habit and giving up smoking for good.

Have you ever given up smoking? Do you have any tips to share?

Debz x

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Vaping at Your Favourite Pub: The Do's and Don'ts

Vaping is a new phenomenon for most of the world, including pubs and other public service businesses.

Like most other businesses and entities within the public sphere, pubs are still figuring out how to negotiate the vaping scene. Do they treat it the same as smoking? Or do they recognize that it has a far better health profile, is more environmentally friendly and does not have a negative impact on the health of others, as cigarette smoke does with second-hand smoke?

The extent to which pubs and clubs have embraced vaping culture will usually depend on whether the management is aware of vaping, and whether they perceive a demand from clientele to support vaping in their businesses.

These do’s and don’ts will help you negotiate the vaping scene within the context of your favourite drinking establishment.

Do: Find Out What the Rules Are

The first and most important step to vaping in your favourite pub is to find out what their rules are regarding vaping both indoors and out.
Some people say it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission. They merely vape discreetly and apologize afterward if they are “caught” and asked to stop. However, this can lead to an uncomfortable confrontation or potentially to being asked to leave. Your relationship with the pub could turn negative, which obviously no one wants.

To avoid any conflict, it makes sense to ask what the rules are. Your bartender, the manager or proprietor may not be informed about vaping and how it differs from smoking, which gives you the opportunity to share some education as well. This could potentially lead to vaping being permitted inside your preferred establishment or having the rules relaxed to allow vaping in different areas.

Do: Offer to Share

Sharing is caring, and if you intend to vape in a public social space, make sure you are prepared to share your stuff with others.
This may mean sharing your hardware — though inadvisable with total strangers — or sharing e-liquid flavours with other people who vape and are interested in what you are blowing.
As a plus, vaping is by nature an activity that is conducive to socializing. It can distract from social awkwardness, act as a talking point with people you have just met and enhance the vibe of your favourite drinking establishment. Sharing your favourite flavour with fellow pubgoers is a great way to make new pals on a night out.

Do: Develop Rapport with Your Bartender

Perhaps the most important step towards being able to vape with ease inside your favourite pub is to develop a solid relationship with the bartender.

This includes basic courtesies like waiting your turn, being patient while you wait for drinks, always paying your tab at the end of the night, not ordering drinks that are unnecessarily complicated or inappropriate for the location (mojitos, we are looking at you) and always saying thank you. It also includes tipping well and consistently, preferably in cash.

By making sure you have a good rapport with the people who are the eyes and ears of the establishment, you will have the highest possible chance of getting your request to vape granted. Pubs never want to risk losing an excellent customer, so your requests will be more strongly considered.

Do: Pay Attention to the People Around You
Situational awareness is a lost art in this day and age. People are often oblivious to others around them and the impact they may be having on their experience. This goes double for the pub setting, where the senses tend to soften.
It is essential to pay attention to your fellow pubgoers as you vape — especially their reactions as you are vaping. Do they seem upset? Interested? Confused? Do they get up and leave their tables?

If people are unhappy that you are vaping, it is a sign to move elsewhere or stop altogether. After all, pubs live and die by their customers, and chasing away paying customers is a sure-fire way to be asked to leave yourself. However, many people may believe you are smoking if they see you from afar and get upset for that reason. This is an awesome opportunity for sharing the vape love and educating them about the differences.

Do: Support Pubs that Support Vaping

Supporting pubs that support vaping is a great way to promote the community.
If your current preferred establishment is so strict they refuse to allow vaping indoors, outdoors or anywhere on the premises, it may be a sign that it is a good time to find a new favourite locale that is a little more open-minded. After all, nothing goes as well with a pint as a puff of the best eLiquid on the market.

Not only do many pubs in the UK and across Europe allow vaping in either an indoor setting or outdoors on a terrace, but many of them have moved specifically towards advertising themselves to the vaping community.

This often includes selling vape hardware and eLiquid to interested vapers, as well as having vape-friendly areas inside and outside with comfortable furniture.

Don’t: Break the Rules

This should be obvious, but it is rude and probably inappropriate to vape when you are explicitly asked not to, or when there are signs posted that prohibit vaping.
Being respectful of the rules helps to spread a positive image of vaping and promote the vaping community. By following the rules and requests of your bartender, you make sure the bartender and fellow pub-goers know vaping is something they might enjoy.
No matter which pub is your primary watering hole, following these tips will ensure you can vape comfortably and happily while also enjoying a pint or two.

Friday, 2 March 2018

The Importance of Creating Great Content

Long before I started by own blog, I used to write content for other peoples websites and blogs. I feel that this really helped me perfect my writing skills, mostly because I used to write such varied content.  This taught me how to get creative, think outside of the box and create content for us about anything and everyone. A lot of this was content marketing for companies much like content marketing company, Content Mother, which is about to launch its services of social media marketing and management.

Don't believe me that content and SEO matters? Read a London SEO Expert success Story You'll Never Believe as well as my article below!

Getting The Readers attention

When you create content, whatever subject it is on – you’re creating something that will be read by a variety of people. This means that you need to write something that is going to catch peoples attention. Great content will do this on its own, which is why the right text is so important.

Keeping on Topic
You can write the best article in the world, but if the title is about content marketing tips but then you start to write something more suitable for a parenting blog you’re going to lose peoples attention really quickly.

Whatever topic you’re writing about, you need to consider your audience and who you are going to be reaching. Sometimes it can be hard to guess who you’re going to be writing for, so you need to keep it generic – other times you know you’re for a lifestyle blog and reaching people who work in a certain profession, so you need to write for them.

How To Write Great Content

It is really easy to talk about the important of writing great content, but what exactly makes content so great? Of course, a lot of this will be personal option but there are some points that really matter.

Content Lay Out

One of the most important things is to make people want to read what you have written. A long page of text will have people clicking off quicker than anything. You need to make the page look readable with small paragraphs, different headers and if appropriate photos. This breaks down a massive wall of text and makes it much more likely someone will read it. If it is simply a page filled with words, this can seem overwhelming and time consuming, which means people simply will not bother

Doing Your Research

Thanks to the internet, researching content really is easier than ever. If you’re writing an article about wedding planning you just need to browse a wedding blog or two and you’ll soon have a head full of ideas on what to write about.

It is always recommended that you check content from more than one source, so you can make sure that your fact checking and what you are writing is factual and accurate.

Creating Unique Content

Although it is recommended you read other websites and blogs for inspiration, it is really important that whatever you write is unique. For starters, copying someone else’s idea is really frowned upon so you should definitely be avoided.

However, when you’re putting content online search engines such as Google are paying attention.
They choose how to rank websites on their pages using a number of factors but high quality, unique content is one of the most important. If they see that you’re lifting content from other websites you’ll be really downgraded and that is not what you or your website want long term.


No one wants to read text just for the sake of it. It is easy to be tempted to exaggerate claims and make things seem more fantastic for the sake of getting readers attention. However, if you’re creating content – you want to be seen as a great source of wisdom so it is important to be accurate.

As well as this, always make sure you read back over your content to check for spelling and grammar errors. People do not want to read poorly written content, they want something that is easy to read and a big part of this is about high quality content.

However, whatever you’re writing – enjoying it! Creating content is really fun and you get to learn new facts about all sorts of topics. Take your time and create something that you would enjoy reading. If you know it is something you would like to read, you know that others are more than likely to enjoy it too – and that is important, because who wants to create content that no one wants to read?

Long before I started by own blog, I used to write content for other peoples websites and blogs. I feel that this really helped me perfect my writing skills, mostly because I used to write such varied content.  This taught me how to get creative, think outside of the box and create content for us about anything and everyone. A lot of this was content marketing for companies much like content marketing company, Content Mother, which is about to launch its services of social media marketing and management.

Don't forget that getting paid on time for any paid content is essential too! The money side of things can seem daunting, so don't be afraid to get help or read up on how to efficiently collect payment too!

Debz x

Friday, 23 February 2018

Getting Help For Moving On

Before you read any further, you should know that this article will make mention of domestic abuse and violent crimes. Please do not read any further if this is something that will affect you.

Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority

This week I was invited to look at the CICA (Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority) which I have to admit, I was not even aware existed. I think as I have never been the victim of a violent crime it is not something that I needed to be aware of. However, now I know it is something that exists, I have to say it is something that I am glad does!

What is the CICA?

In short, it is a government organisation that helps people who have been the victim of a crime where they are blameless and violence was involved. I was reassured to read that this covers with physical and mental injuries and can aware up to £500,000 if needed.

Escaping Violence

If you are someone that is involved in a violent relationship, it can be hard to know how to escape and what support is available. When your involved with someone, your life becomes intertwined with their so escaping can be difficult. Although finances aren’t the only reason someone would be stuck in a relationship, I was reassured to know that some financial help is out there for people stuck in this situation.

Image result for cica claims

Getting Help

If you or someone you know is stuck in a situation where they are subject to violence, then please do what you can to get out of there. I know those are easy words for me to say and that situations do make it more complicated that that. However, use the internet to research the support that is out there and escape to create a life for yourself - you really do deserve it.

Making a Claim

If you have been the victim of a violent crime, domestic abuse etc then your head probably isn’t going to be in a strong enough place to make a claim and get what you deserve. Whilst reading up about all of this, I came across Cica UK which exists to help people make a claim and get the financial compensation they’re entitled to.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Dressing against the norm — what does it say about you?

From eccentric socks to dressing against our gendered expectations, many people push the limits of social norms when it comes to fashion. Research has shown that non-conformists can be viewed as being of a higher status and more competent than those who follow the rules of fashion. We take a look at what different clothing says about the wearer…

Against gendered expectations

The line is becoming increasingly blurred between male and female clothing. Many people are speaking up, opposing the ideas that men and women should be dressed according to their sex. But, are you presenting yourself in a different way when you dress against the gendered expectations?

Although fashionistas are saying that they don’t agree with gender rules, some research suggests that we’re still stuck in our old ways. Psychologists in New Jersey found that attitudes towards gender stereotypes hadn’t changed much between 1983 and 2014.
There is an argument that shows that it’s favourable for women to cross the gender barrier but perhaps not men. Back in 1990, it was found that — despite the sex of the applicant – if the clothing that they wore was more masculine, they were more likely to be hired. When men dressed in pink however (a colour commonly associated with females), they were seen as less intelligent than women who were wearing the same colour.

Eccentric wear

Another way of going against the grain when it comes to style it through eccentric clothing. When we think of outrageous outfits we may think of people with brightly coloured hair, patterned clothing and over the top jewellery. But, there are other ways to express freedom through dress.
For example, people who wear unconventional socks are viewed as being rebellious and expressive. One of these people is Justin Trudeau, the current Prime Minister of Canada, who shows off his fun side by wearing funky socks with a traditional suit. You can make your own subtle ‘eccentric’ changes through patterned socks by CT shirts, online retailers of men’s formal shirts and accessories. Or make yourself stand out from the crowd through bright scarves and other extras.

By dressing against the norms, studies have shown that you build a brand of being ‘gutsy’. And in fact, people have the potential to see you as more brilliant, creative and successful. One study, published in 2014, found that those who go against conformity can be viewed as of a higher status than those who don’t. They were also considered to be more competent — potentially influencing the impression that they give off in the workplace.

Not only does it affect people’s perceptions of you but it can also affect the way you think, feel and act — this is through ‘embodied cognition’. Since eccentric dress gives you greater potential to express your individuality, it’s possible that it can make you feel more confident and comfortable in different situations. This could then go on to improve your performance at work or in challenges where you want to push yourself.

Against the dress code

In some situations, for a job interview perhaps, it can be argued that dressing in accordance with expectations is the best thing to do.
Under some circumstances, we think that people with extraordinary appearances are more successful.

Men who wear smart, fitted suits as they are often expected to wear in a formal situation, were perceived as being more confident, successful and thought to be earning a higher wage. This was compared to men who weren’t dressed as smartly — in a loosely fitted suit.

In one study that looked at the effects of clothing, it was found that senior managers were rated less favourably if they were dressed more ‘provocative’. This was a skirt slightly above the knee and one button on the blouse undone. It’s clear to see that it is important to consider our dress style carefully as people can make many assumptions without any evidence.

In some environments, wearing your set uniform can improve your productivity. Research found that in a lab, those who were wearing lab coats felt smarter and went on to perform better!

As we can see, dressing against societies expectations can have many effects on the opinion of others and your own performance. Although it’s important to express yourself through dress, you don’t want to hinder your work or your impression on others in formal situations. Wear a pair of crazy socks underneath your day-to-day outfit instead…