Style Tips & Fun with Fashion, over 40.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

How Much of your Life is Taken Over by Blogging?



I am a relatively new blogger.

{Fake Fabulous is just over 1 year old}

So, I don't feel like I am in any position to give blogging tips or advice.
Luckily, great blogging tips are everywhere.
From full time, self employed, bloggers that know exactly what they are talking about!

Technical tips, tricks and hints are also all over the internet.
These help you to get the most out of the techy side of blogging.
There are also plenty of fantastic photography tips, as well as ideas to get the most out of social media.

In fact, anything you want to know, someone, somewhere will have blogged about it.
That is why I love the internet!

{What did we do without it again?}

However, within these hints, tips and "How-to" posts some of the most important things can often be overlooked.

Such as...
How much time do you really need to spend blogging?

Well, there is no quick blogging 'fix'.
Or, secret to overnight success.

You don't just set up a blog, write a couple of posts (with a few snaps) then watch the freebies, followers, comments and money, roll in.

You have to work at it.

I mean really work.

Hard.

So, this blog of yours needs to be more than your hobby.
It needs to be your passion.

I am a hobby blogger who happily spends all evening on my blog.
I am also a mum (with all the usual mum-jobs to do).
And, I have a dog to look after.
And, I have a day job!

How on earth do I find the time?
Well, we always manage to find time for the things we love, don't we?

How much time do I really spend on my blog?

Hmmmm...


Researching/Planning Blog Posts

Okay...
Confession time.

I am not much of a planner.
So, the thought of notebooks and schedules is not something that appeals to me.

{The first photo I used in this post is a stock photo, and would have ideally had a cup of tea and a biccie in place of that note pad and pen!}

I am a see-how-it develops kind of writer.
Even this post started off with a few random ramblings and the title was the last thing to be put in place.

My planning strategy takes no time at all.

Oh...hang on!
That is not entirely true.
I do have to plan (a little) for the PPP posts, and the fab40's. Both of which are outwith my comfort zone.

Creating outfits is something that just happens, on the day.
I occasionally plan an outfit the night before (if I have an early start) but it almost always gets amended before leaving the house.

My outfits tend to be thrown together, and I only analyse the reasoning behind them after the photographs have been sorted out.
Only then, can I figure out why wore what I wore and why it worked (or not).

I must admit that the PPP posts do involve a little more thought, as the clothes are not (usually) mine.
That is quite hard for me, but a great challenge!

In the case of the PPP items, I find that hanging the item I need to style in a prominent place makes me look at it regularly.
Eventually, inspiration comes.

You could try it with something unworn from your wardrobe.
Let me know if it works!

Are you a planner?

Photographing Outfits

Photographing outfits can be a challenge in Scotland, especially in Winter when it is dark almost all of the time.
In the Summer we are often dodging rain showers, or fighting against the wind.

Sometimes, it can be quite stressful to find the time, light and a break in the weather.
Occasionally, I just give up and write about something else.

Sorting out Photos

Sorting photos is the boring bit (for me, anyway).
Yawn.

My husband takes about 100- 200 photos per outfit.

{He should take more but there is still a part of his brain that thinks you can't waste the film!}

I use about 5 images per post (at the most). 
Looking through them is boring.
I don't enjoy looking at myself.
I would much rather be the photographer, and the stylist.
But, as I am talking about my personal style (as opposed to fashion) that would be a bit pointless.

Editing photographs takes an AGE and I don't even use photoshop.
I just hit enhance (or delete) and crop a little.
I don't know how anyone finds the time (or has the inclination) to properly edit photographs, and remove all imperfections.

Sometimes I look at my photos and think..
 "Gosh Sam,  you look tired, old and a bit grey at the temples."
Then I remember that I am all of these things!

I don't want to remove the 'real' me from my images, so I don't.
You see it how it is.
Warts and all.

{Okay, maybe not warts}

Writing a Post

This is the fun part!
I never plan, or write an overview.
I write directly into blogger, no first drafts or anything like that.
I am an impulsive writer and that is how I want to stay.

I usually just add my photos onto an empty page, then start talking, letting the words flow and the direction they want to.
My writing does it's own thing.

Sometimes a post will take an unexpected turn...
This post started talking about wearing summer clothes in Autumn, and ended up talking about how to introduce coloured tights into your wardrobe.
It wrote itself really.


Reading and Editing my Post

When I am finished writing, I have to read my finished post aloud.
It sounds daft, but it really helps me to feel the flow of the words, and make sure they sound like the real me.
Then I hit the 'Publish' button.

Sometimes, there is that horrible moment that I realise (post-publish) that I have made a stupid typO.
{Even after 3 or 4 re-reads}
Doh!

I think that after I have read my post through a few times my brain starts to 'Autocorrect' for me.

Arrrgggh!
Annoying.

How do you feel about the dreaded TypeO?


Reading, and Replying to, Comments

I love this part!
Reading comments is one of the best things about blogging.
I love hearing people's thoughts, and really enjoy it when someone might not agree with me.
I especially like it when someone has an experience of their own to share, or a different way of doing things.
I always keep an open mind, and try not to be offended if someone does not like what I am wearing, or disagrees with my point of view.

I try my best to reply to every comment left on my blog, because I believe that answering and replying to all comments is an essential part of blogging.
Yes, it takes ages BUT it shows you (my visitor) that I value your comments and opinions.

Do you like reading replies to comments?

Improving the Blog

This can involve adding icons, links and widgets.
Tweaking my template, or experimenting with my colour scheme.
Reorganising, and reshuffling, can (and will) take hours.
Enjoyable, yes, but the housework tends to take a back seat.
{I can vacuum later}

I try and have a tweak (or at least a tidy up) every couple of months.

Checking social media and responding to comments and emails

Social media is great fun, especially checking out other people's posts and photographs.
Instagram is my favourite.
I try to answer every comment personally, on an individual basis.

I am rubbish on Facebook.
If you comment there and I don't reply immediately, I can only apologise.

Posting on Instagram, however, is fun and interacting is even better!
{Be careful not to lose your entire life to scrolling}
I don't post to Instagram enough.
I should do more but I struggle to find time.
I often find myself on instagram at night, in bed, and can still be 'liking' and commenting long after the whole house is asleep.

I need to be better at Pinterest too.
I know it has huge potential, but I have not tapped into it.

Maybe that should be the next 'improvement' project?

What is your favourite social media platform?


Reading other blogs

This is where I lose hours and hours of my day!

I love reading other blogs (see my blogroll for my favourites).
This takes a lot of time, but it is very enjoyable.
In fact, I could spend all day reading, and commenting on blogs.

Commenting is optional, but I would highly recommend it!
Interacting with other bloggers is one of the best things about blogging.
Even if it is just a simple... "Cool dress!" or "Great shade of lippy"... interacting is fun.

The only thing I would say about commenting and interacting is to be nice.

If you have something genuinely positive to say, let it flow!

If you really don't like a look, don't say anything,  just move on to another post.
{Your favourite bloggers will come up with something new soon enough}

If someone asks for an opinion, give it but don't be nasty.

Being a bitch is never a good idea.

Oh, and finally...
Don't be pushy.

Leaving a link to your blog is great but leaving a,
"Great look...BTW, Follow my blog, check out my post, here is my blog link, Instagram link, facebook...look at it NOW!"
..comment is annoying, and just rude.


Now comes the maths part.

{Well, arithmetic anyway}

Estimated hours (per week) devoted to blogging - based on 3 posts per week.


Research and Planning (I am including reading glossy magazines): hours
Photographing outfits: 1 hour (it is a quick process, usually while the dinner is cooking!)
Editing/deleting photos: 3 hours (it seems to take forever to achieve very little)
Writing posts: 6 hours (sometimes more, if the post runs away with itself)
Reading and editing: 2 hours
Reading and replying to comments: 2 hours
Checking and responding to emails: 3 hours
Blog improvements: 1 hour (this usually happens once every couple of months in a big chunk)
Social media interactions: 5 hours (probably more, if you include my late-night Instagram scrolling!)
Reading other blogs: 5 hours

Total: 30+ hours (this comes as no surprise to me, it is like a full time job, and I am just a small blogger!)

30 hours.
Sounds a lot doesn't it?
But, for me, it is time well spent!

WHAT TAKES UP MOST OF YOUR (free) TIME?
PLEASE SHARE YOUR HOBBY IN THE COMMENTS?
(If it is your blog, please leave me a link)
IF YOU HAVE ANY COMMENTS, OR QUESTIONS, PLEASE LEAVE THEM BELOW.
OR, Contact me.
I LOVE HEARING FROM YOU!


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32 comments

  1. I'm glad you tallied this up. Goes to show just how much time gets sucked into blogging.

    Without a doubt I spend too much of my time reading other blogs. No doubt.

    I used to and sometimes still do respond to comments on my blog, I read all the comments every time, but responding I think is sometimes a waste of time. I don't know that people care unless they have asked a pointed question. It is however, polite, so I do still try to do it.

    I am a very poor pre planner as well. I'm trying to change that but so far haven't been too successful.

    I spend more time working on blogging since I also have 2 Etsy stores which require work as well.

    I also hate editing photos and find it terribly time consuming.

    Where do you get your stock photos from?

    I like IG but also still spend time on FB because lots of my readers are there. I rarely spend time on Twitter and only go there because I feel I need to.

    I like Pinterest but use it more for myself rather than promotion of my blog.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    1. Thanks for this comment Suzanne!!
      It is awesome.. :oD
      I think I have underestimated my total time (by about 10 hours.)..I had a rethink last night and I kind of shocked myself. 30 hours sounds healthier than 40 doesn't it?
      Yikes!!!

      The stock photos were from Pixabay.
      You can also get them from picjumbo and unsplash...and loads of others I imagine.

      I really dislike facebook (too much boasting, bitching, moaning and "inspirational quotes') but it does generate traffic so I MUST try to do better.
      (My son calls it wifey-book...hahaha!)
      I know women my age (and my audience) is on FB but I just can't get into it at all.
      I have lost interest in twitter and Insta is my favourite of all :oD

      I must add that when I leave a comment on a blog, I always go back to check if it gets a reply.
      If a blogger has replied to my comment, I really love that.
      Just so you know that I (for one) appreciate your efforts!
      XXX


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  2. Wonderful post samantha, so well written and honest. I have been blogging for 6 years now, and I am with you that I can spend hours on the blog, but because it is my passion they feel like no time at all. The blog has seen me through dark moments, like my husband´s cancer operation and hospital time. I love reading comment, but I hate writing them hahhahhaa. I wish I could tell the person what I feel and just writing is not enough. I love editing photos, so you and me would be good partners. you like the things I don´t and viceversa, hahhahhaha.
    Mil besos, my friend

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    1. We would make a great team Sacramento! :oD
      I am always in awe at your photography and great eye for an interesting image.
      Your blog is art.
      I am sorry to hear of your troubles, but happy that blogging has helped you through the hard times.
      I suppose any passion (whatever it may be) can help keep a grip on life and find joy in the darkest of times.
      We are lucky to have such passions!
      XXX

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  3. Mmm, what takes up my time? Reading amazing blogs such as this one, being in awe of your persistence and creativity. I love the Internet for gathering ideas, learning new things and being just plain nosy! Thank you for highlighting to those who think blogs just 'happen' and you automatically gather readers, free stuff, promotions etc. As with anything in life you get out what you put in. I do not have a blog/ website/ vlog etc. as many other people produce and share fantastic things & for free. As the previous comment says it can be such a life line for those creating or reading. Thank you and keep on blogging!

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    1. What a wonderful comment Elizabeth...you have made my day with your kind words!
      I must thank you for taking the time to leave it.
      It really does mean a lot to me that you read, and enjoy, my blog.
      I am (luckily) not motivated by money...I will never be rich (I tend to give things away, rather than sell them) and I don't really care!
      Blogging is certainly not a quick way to make your fortune...but it is so much fun!
      Thank you for being a part of it.
      XXX

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  4. Now, see---I'm quite the opposite in so many ways Samantha!
    I am quite the planner---to me that's half the fun! So I have a calendar of outifts ready for taking photos especially with the fact that I have two other women that need to be styled! I have been a little more spontaneous if needed, and it can be a disadvantage due to the weather. The one thing I really like about it is, for most post where we wear the same piece 3 times---I learn how to get some variety out of the same clothing item. Granted it doesn't always work fabulously, but it does make me stretch!
    I also don't mind the editing of photos...but we certainly don't take as many as you do. Maybe that many between the three of us, but that's the part I don't love. I would love to have someone else be the model...and I'll just take care of the details!! Learning the photography part of it, has been a challenge (and I'm still learning---but it's okay)
    I absolutely love reading other blogs and I like commenting too. But I am not a writer---my personality is direct. So describing what we're wearing and why is such a struggle for me---ugh!
    And then the social media aspect---it's fun, but how does one find the extra time to do it all? And I don't even have much of a day job anymore?
    Still---it's been quite a journey---and I'm so glad to have found you (and others) as a blogging friend!!
    jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. Thank you for this in depth comment Jodie.
      It is very interesting how differently we work.
      You must need a lot of planning with Nancy and Charlotte to organise too... so much work.
      I need to take loads of shots because in 95% of them I am pulling a stupid face (I can't stop yapping) or my eyes are shut, or the wind does something crazy, or the light goes.
      Most of my photos are awful.
      I would love 500 to choose from, but that would just be silly in reality.

      Who takes the photo of you??

      As for social media.... that can consume you whole life if you are not careful...and then there are the vloggers (like Lisa Eldridge)...I blink and hours have passed.
      There is not enough time in the day!!!

      Thanks again for leaving such a great comment....which goes to prove that you ARE a writer afterall. XXX

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  5. Yes! Blogging takes much more time than people usually realize, but I LOVE the work of it and wish I had more time right now to devote to it, but with a full-time job, a part-time job and a photography business, the blog ends up being the last one cared for :-(

    I think you do a beautiful job with your blog, I always look forward to your posts and pictures (kudos to your husband). Don't worry about not digging Facebook. Find the platforms you enjoy and give them your best :-)

    Bettye
    https://fashionschlub.com

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    1. Good grief Bettye!!!!
      When do you sleep?
      You must be THE most organised person, not a moment wasted.
      I see you have four legged friends too...more work!
      Hats off to you.

      Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.... especially now I know how little time you have for such things!
      I am going to try and be a little better at old FB.
      I just need to find a few more hours in the day, or get a little bit better organised.
      Maybe you could share your tips in a post?
      XXX

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  6. Since you were the very first blogger that I followed I must tell you that you set the bar for all of the others I now follow. Also, I'm pretty certain that you follow 90% of those I've chosen to follow.
    I think all of you are really smart, sensitive,vulnerable, interesting, funny, creative, and complex women and I feel like I've found a bunch of amazing new friends!! I realize that's pretty presumptuous but I even feel sad that since I'm NOT a blogger I'll never be a part of the special relationship you share with each other.
    It is quite obvious to me that blogging is one HELL of a lot of work!!! Clearly the passion that each of you has is highly motivating and you are a tremendously informative, influential, and entertaining group of women. An additional benefit, given you're all over 40 is the forum you've created for all of the issues we need to laugh, divulge, commiserate and rant about a bit.
    Thank you Samantha B.,Jodie F.,Suzanne C., Anna K. Melanie K. Anna's Island Style, and a few others I dearly love!!

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  7. Since you were the very first blogger that I followed I must tell you that you set the bar for all of the others I now follow. Also, I'm pretty certain that you follow 90% of those I've chosen to follow.
    I think all of you are really smart, sensitive,vulnerable, interesting, funny, creative, and complex women and I feel like I've found a bunch of amazing new friends!! I realize that's pretty presumptuous but I even feel sad that since I'm NOT a blogger I'll never be a part of the special relationship you share with each other.
    It is quite obvious to me that blogging is one HELL of a lot of work!!! Clearly the passion that each of you has is highly motivating and you are a tremendously informative, influential, and entertaining group of women. An additional benefit, given you're all over 40 is the forum you've created for all of the issues we need to laugh, divulge, commiserate and rant about a bit.
    Thank you Samantha B.,Jodie F.,Suzanne C., Anna K. Melanie K. Anna's Island Style, and a few others I dearly love!!

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    1. Thank you Judy for this amazing comment!
      I am honoured to have been your first blogger (that really does mean a lot to me) and I am thrilled that you have found others to enjoy.

      I have to disagree with you though.....
      I think that you ARE part of the "special relationship" as we share our thoughts and ideas through commenting and interacting.
      You comment so eloquently that you are as much part of the community as anyone.
      And, it is a pleasure to have your company.
      I really enjoy reading your comments and ideas, so for that...thanks a million!
      XXX

      Delete
  8. I am also blogging for about a year and a half now, and four months on my self hosted blog, and never would have thought that it will bring me so much! And I dont mean freebees! It made me much more convidant then een I started. That is because I was searching for something forfilling(?) To do as I could not work anymore because of my Health. That is hard when you are in your fifties. But blogging is my passion and Inspend way to much time on it, but I love it! Being Dutch, it is sometimes not that easy to express myself in the comments and get stuck in, you look great and stylish and so on, instead of saying what I would say in Dutch. I never thought that I would vallue comments by other bloggers more than numbers! And I get very inspirered by the different looks I see! So, I think you ve written this post very good, just saying how many of us, I think, feel about blogging!

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    1. Ahhh...thank you so much Nancy for this comment.
      I can hardly believe that English is not your first language!
      I have enormous respect for anyone that can express themselves with words, let alone using words that are not their "mother tongue"....If I was commenting in Dutch I would manage maybe "Mooi" and "goed" and maybe "elegant"...that would be it! Not very inspiring stuff. hahaha.
      XXX

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  9. as a pretty irregular (and bad) blogger, I admire you very much!, I never take more than ten photos, never plan anything, and my blog improvement is almost ridiculous. My one and only quality as a blogger is that I'm pretty spontaneous!
    It's difficult to find a moment to read and comment some blogs which it's my favorite part of blogging. I'm taking it easy these days!
    besos

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    1. I laughed when I read "bad blogger"...Spontaneous and honest would be the words I would choose (that is why you are on my sidebar Monica!!)
      I love your colourful and vibrant style.
      XXX

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  10. It's true - blogging DOES involve a lot of work, with plenty of dedication and passion alongside that! I'm a homemaker and even I find that blogging tends to consume too much of my life at times, so I genuinely have MAJOR respect for you and others who have a full-time job and are bloggers at the same time.

    I do find the sorting of photos and editing them to be tedious, but I do enjoy looking at other bloggers' work - and yes, a huge chunk of my time is spent just from perusing through many bloggers' photos and reading their blog!

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    1. I am very lucky to have a part-time job and my children are older now, so they can tidy up after themselves. Sometimes they even walk the dog too!
      I know how fortunate I am.
      However, I would still like some more hours in the day please (Only on my non-work days though).
      If you know how to arrange that for me Liyana, that would be fantastic!! :oP
      XXX

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  11. I'm glad I found your blog. Let me introduce myself. I'm a relatively new blogger as well. About a year and a half. It's hard to figure out how much time I spend blogging because I just do it. I do it on my free time. However, I don't blog when I'm traveling. I wait until I return home to post. As far as sosh media goes, I'm so lazy with it. I pretty much suck at marketing myself.
    But--I blog to an audience that just wants to read about the goings on in the life of a 60 something woman who's better half is a Frenchman. Sometimes I write about skincare and makeup and sometimes about fashun and sometimes I rant and sometimes I rave...it's basically whatever pops into my head. Enjoying your blog!! XOXOXO!

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    1. Hi Catherine! Blogging is so much fun, isn't it?
      Addictive too...
      I love that you just blog about whatever pops into your head...hahahaha....that is exactly how I write too!
      I just start typing and see where it takes me.
      Thank you so much for commenting.
      I hope you come back and leave a link to your blog so I can check it out.
      XXX

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  12. I love your blog because it seems to be a reflection of you - creative, practical and spontaneous. Thanks for all your postings so far.

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  13. It's the same for me as to how much blogging has taken over my life and I find that I have much less time for shopping. Keeping up with comments and commenting on posts that were added to my link up is a huge challenge but they are must-dos in my book (hence the reason I'm commenting a week after you've published this post).

    Rena
    www.finewhateverblog.com

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    1. Thank you Rena. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. There are not enough hours in the day for blogging!! :oD XXX

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  14. Such an interesting post! I loved reading your post and all the comments! I know I have said it before, but your blog is so well put together, I would have never thought it's so young... You are doing a fantastic job!

    I've never tallied up how many hours I spend on my blog per week, but I know it is a lot. And most of the time I really enjoy it. When it gets a bit annoying, I know it's time to take a little break (and I'm getting a bit better at giving myself a break once in a while without feeling guilty...). Reading other blogs is so enjoyable for me, and it takes a lot of time each week...

    Andrea
    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

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    1. Me too Andrea. On my days off work I can spend ALL day reading blogs and browsing through them. So naughty when there is housework that needs to be done!! :oP XXX

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  15. Hi Sam!
    This was interesting to me. I always wonder how much time people put into their blog. Hubby takes the photos, that part is pretty easy. I like working with the pictures. Commenting is something I struggle with only because it takes me a couple days to get to almost all of the people on my linkup. Then I feel as if i wish I could comment more reguraly on people's blogs. ( yours included!) I want to figure out how to time mangage the linkup comments, so i can be more free to comment also during the week1
    Nice post my friend
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

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  16. I have only just found your blog the other day and can I say I'm loving it! I find it very inspiring. I have just turned 50 (but feel half that age, ok maybe a conservative 20 years younger!!) and feel as if I'm in a bit of a rut fashion-wise (although I've never been "hip and trendy" or too fashion conscious) but your blogs are making me look at things in a new light. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Lorna and welcome!
      50 is the new 30 so you are spot on about feeling 20 years younger. :oP
      I hope you feel inspired to try out some fresh new looks ("hip and trendy", or not!) have a look at some of the bloggers in my sidebar for more inspiration... many of them are in their 50's are look amazing!
      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment.
      XXX

      Delete
  17. Brilliant post Sam - says so much about blogging right down to the "T" (hehe).

    In any case if it helps I love your blog and think you are doing fabulously...

    Wow - though your hubby takes 100 - 200 photos per outfit...think I am lucky to get 20 - hehe - i'll have to talk to him - smile!!

    xx Yvonne
    www.funkyforty.com

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    1. Hahaha...thank you Yvonne.
      Out of 200 photos I might get one or two where I am not looking goofy :oP XXX

      Delete

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